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Conor McGregor Releases Statement on UFC 200 and is “not retired”

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The MMA world was sent into a frenzy earlier in the week when UFC president Dana White announced that Conor McGregor had been pulled from his scheduled rematch with Nate Diaz at the mammoth UFC 200 card in July following his refusal to comply with his promotional responsibilities in the build-up to the event. The news came after a day of confusion that started when the featherweight champion posted a tweet stating:

In a subsequent interview on The Herd the day after all of this unfolded, Dana White stated that the door had not yet closed on McGregor’s involvement on UFC 200 and categorically stated that he does not believe the Irishman had any intention of retiring from the sport. However, he also warned that should McGregor wish to continue with his retirement statement, the proposed interim featherweight title bout at UFC 200 between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar would convert to a match for the vacant featherweight title, essentially meaning McGregor would have to forfeit his belt. All eyes have seemingly been on the McGregor camp since then, with his coaches and team mates regularly posting, some sharing pictures of themselves training with McGregor, but the man himself remained silent.

Today, McGregor broke that silence and the “Notorious” one has maintained his stance that he will not be flying to Vegas for the promotional work, stating that he has done more than his fair share in that regard. McGregor still fully intends on fighting at UFC 200 and would be willing to do the scheduled promotional work in New York (in May) for the event. Perhaps more importantly for MMA fans, the last line of his statement reads “I am not retired.” You can read his full statement below.

I am just trying to do my job and fight here.
I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.
I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.
There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.
50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.
Nothing else was going through my mind.
It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.
Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Conneticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fuck morning show did not get me this life.
Talking to some lady that deep down doesn’t give a fuck about what I’m doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I’m cool with that too, I’ve been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.
I’m coming for my revenge here.
I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep.
With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight.
I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.
I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.
But it was denied.
There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me.
So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them.
And all with one tweet.
Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.
I must isolate myself now.
I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.
I can not dance for you this time.
It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I’ve danced us all the way here.
Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.
He came in with no shit to do that last one. I’d already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.
Maybe I’ll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.
I’m doing what I need for me now.
It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.
I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.
I am still ready to go for UFC 200.
I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions.
If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don’t know what to say.
For the record also –
For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations –
I AM NOT RETIRED

It seems that the ball is very much back in the UFC’s court.

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Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.

Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.

Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.

After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.

With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:

Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout

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Holloway vs Edgar set to headline UFC 218

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UFC 218 is set to take place on Saturday, December 2nd, in Detroit, Michigan at the Little Caesars Arena and will be available on pay-per-view.

The event is now set to be headlined by Max Holloway’s first featherweight title defense since he won the belt at UFC 212 against the legendary Jose Aldo. In his first title defense, he will take in another MMA legend in New Jersey’s Frankie Edgar.

UFC 218 will mark Frankie Edgar’s third attempt at winning the featherweight crown, with his first two attempts coming against Jose Aldo at UFC 156 and UFC 200. Edgar will be looking to become a two-weight world champion, having previously been the UFC lightweight champion. He will once again attempt to join an elite group which includes Conor McGregor, B.J. Penn, and Randy Couture as the only fighters to have been champions in two weight divisions.

Edgar is a worthy contender but you have to feel that if Aldo had won at UFC 212 then Edgar may have waited a lot longer for his return to fight for a championship. But with a new champ and McGregor firmly out the picture, the featherweight division can thrive with some new match ups.

And what a matchup this is, as we get to see two incredible fighters with two different styles take each other on, in what could turn out to be one of the fights of the year.

The UFC 218 card is now shaping up nicely as the main event joins Francis Ngannou vs Alistair Overeem on the card. As well as several other bouts such as Alvarez vs Gaethje, Cejudo vs Pettis and Herrig vs Casey.

Will Holloway extend his unbeaten run to 12 fights or will Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar cement his legacy with his second UFC world title? The world will find out on December 2nd.

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BREAKING: Carlos Condit Returns to Face Neil Magny at UFC 219

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Carlos Condit is back. After almost two years away from the octagon, ‘The Natural Born Killer’ will fight Neil Magny at UFC 219 on December 30th.

Whilst Condit has been amid rumors of retirement ever since his first round submission loss to Demian Maia back in August of 2016, he will be returning to action after all.

Condit’s return was in question, but his recent action on Twitter sparked some noise, when he hinted at a possible return.

‘The Natural Born Killer’ is currently ranked 7th in the welterweight division, he will be facing Neil Magny on December 30th, 2017, which is on the weekend of New Year’s Eve.

This fight adds onto an already-stacked card that is UFC 219, which also includes the return of the former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, a rising contender in the strawweight division in Cynthia Calvillo, and Condit’s addition to the card only makes it better.

Both Condit and Magny will be looking to get back on the winning track in this fight. This fight delivers some mix-up in the division, and with Thompson and Masvidal matched up already in the top 5, this fight will give both fighters a great opportunity to jump right back into the title fight. Magny’s last fight was against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 215, where he lost in the first round via arm-triangle choke.

Now with the addition of Condit vs. Magny, here is the line-up so far for UFC 219.

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
  • Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
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