UFC President Dana White has sent some return fire in the direction of newly retired two-division champion Conor McGregor.
McGregor surprised fight fans the world over when he announced his retirement last Saturday night. Shortly after announcing his retirement on social media, he gave a few quotes to ESPN, explaining that he simply doesn’t see any reason to continue fighting right now, as there are no opportunities that excite him.
“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor said. “All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.
“I’m a bit bored of the game,” he added. “I’m here watching the fight. I watched the last show — the [Tyron-Woodley-Gilbert Burns] show — I watched the show tonight. I’m just not excited about the game, Ariel. I don’t know if it’s no crowd. I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”
Speaking to ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday, White offered a response to McGregor, claiming the Irishman turned down the opportunity to step in against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
“He wants to fight Gaethje. Gaethje just won to get the fight with Khabib,” White said (via MMA Fighting). “He just beat Tony Ferguson. Conor had the opportunity to slide into that spot if Khabib or Tony fell out.
“He came back and said ‘I’m not a replacement fighter, I’m not going to do it.’ He would be in that position now if he took the fight. He didn’t, Gaethje did so Gaethje gets it.”
White continued, suggesting that Conor McGregor may just be frustrated with the state of the sport during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Conor McGregor is frustrated right now because I mean look what’s going on,” White said. “Look at what we’re pulling off. We’re literally just going to Yas Island right now to pull off these fights because the hardest thing to do right now is to get people into the country from other parts of the world. We are a true global business. We’re the only one pulling off live sports right now. If I continue to do fights in the United States, I’m going to burn out all my American talent.
“Now we got Yas Island ready to go, it’s set up. This is just a matter of Conor being frustrated I think in that he can’t get what he wants right now. It’s just not possible.”
What do you think of these comments from Dana White? How do you think Conor McGregor will respond?