Irish mixed martial arts phenom Conor McGregor will not fight in a rematch against rival Nate Diaz, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announced after McGregor failed to show up to a promotional event Friday.
McGregor was slated to fight against Diaz in the headline match at this year's UFC 200 — the fighting league’s biggest event of the year — but his dispute over promotional duties will leave him on the sidelines.
"You have to show up to promote the fight,'' White said. "It's part of the job. It's what we do here.''
McGregor, who is wildly popular for his trash talking and brawling fighting style, lost to Diaz last month in a major upset after Diaz choked him out in the second round of the main event.
White left a seat open for McGregor at the news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, though McGregor made it clear earlier this week that he would not attend the event.
McGregor posted on Facebook that he couldn't afford the time he would need to leave his training camp in Iceland for a series of promotional appearances for the card. White noted McGregor’s fitness concerns, but said the fight was still three months away and the UFC spent $10 million to promote the event, so he expected all fighters to participate.
"People [other fighters on the card] came from Poland and Brazil. Is that fair?'' White asked. "It sets a bad precedent. These guys came in from all over the world and they're here.''
McGregor responded on Twitter, saying he respected that other fighters took time to travel to Las Vegas to participate, but “not everyone up there made the company [$]400 million the last 8 months.”
White said he wasn’t mad at McGregor and expected him to fight again, but added that out of principle he wouldn't let McGregor fight on the blockbuster July 9 card.
"It's an unpopular decision, but it's the right decision,'' White said.