Conor McGregor says he’s retired but UFC president Dana
White isn’t buying it.
Last week the former two-division UFC champion announced
that he was calling it a career, which is the second time in three years that
he’s made that same declaration.
Back in 2016, McGregor made a similar statement after a disagreement
with the UFC over some promotional work the company wanted from him in order to
headline a summer card against Nate Diaz. The two sides never came to an
agreement and McGregor briefly retired until he finally came to terms with the
UFC on his next fight against Diaz that August.
This time around, McGregor was negotiating for his return to
fighting in July and he had turned down a fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
after the UFC wanted him to serve as the co-main event rather than the
headliner on a card.
In response, McGregor said he would happily fight in a
co-main event — as long as he was handed an ownership stake in the UFC. Shortly
after that, he decided to announce his retirement, although White doesn’t
believe he’s actually series.
“No, I think there’s some things that Conor wants and I
think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably
will in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get this thing figured out,” White
said when speaking to ‘Game On’ in Las Vegas.
White says that no one has more respect for McGregor than
him but for all the concessions he’s willing to make for the former lightweight
and featherweight champion, giving him a piece of the UFC is not on the table.
Still, White believes he can ultimately bring McGregor back
into the fold once he has a chance to sit down and talk with him in the near
“Who gets respected more than Conor McGregor does? Come on,
the guy’s never been disrespected, definitely not by me,” White said. “He’s got
a lot of money, too. He’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership.
If you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the league and
the list goes on and on.
“Is Conor very valuable to the sport and to the brand UFC?
Of course, he is, but that’s a tough one. I think there’s other ways we can
make him happy.”
For his part, McGregor hasn’t backed off his retirement claims
since making the announcement but it appears he’ll at least sit down with White
and the UFC to see whaat the future holds for him.