Exactly one week after UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor ‘retired’ with a now-infamous tweet, it’s probably safe to say that we haven’t seen a media circus quite like this one in MMA’s entire existence.
Dana White responded to McGregor’s supposed stepping down by clarifying that the promotion had pulled ‘The Notorious’ from rematch with Nate Diaz in the UFC 200 headliner when he refused to leave Iceland to attend last Friday’s press conference, and even though the at-times emotional exec said the fences could be mended if the Irish superstar contacted him, it appears as if the UFC is sticking to their guns.
Never was that more clear than yesterday (Mon., April 25, 2016), when McGregor tweeted that he was back on UFC 200 in addition to his gratitude to his employers. White was quick to rebuff that statement to both TMZ and The Los Angeles Times, and here we stand with the UFC holding steadfast in an effort to not give ‘The Notorious’ any more preferential treatment than he’s already gotten.
However, one former UFC champion thinks that White and Lorenzo Fertitta should do just that. Discussing the scenario in a recent appearance with Submission Radio, revered UFC legend and outspoken personality Don Frye spoke up with his view that McGregor was indeed right because the UFC’s promotional schedule is too much, and they should have given him space to train:
“I think he’s right. He’s spot on. I mean that takes so much god damn time away from you. You’re hired to be a fighter not to be an interview, you know, or interviewee. You’ve got things to do. When you’re training for a fight it’s a 24/7 job, and if they got you doing more interviews and promoting than they do fighting, well then you’re not going to last long. You’re not going to have a long career.”
According to Frye, White is now throwing one of his normal ‘fits’ that began when McGregor attempted to make a power play. Frye noted that fighting is an extremely demanding sport on one’s body,and McGregor must be prepared:
“How do I say this without being rude? I guess I can’t, so I’ll piss on it. You know, Dana likes everything his way and if he doesn’t get his way he throws a fit, and that’s what’s happening. You know, and Conor’s spot on, man. You can’t spend more time doing interviews than training. This is a dangerous sport, okay? And the thing is, it went from a fight to a sport to a TV show. And it’s still a dangerous thing. And so you gotta prepare yourself for it, because shit, just training – if you’re in one of those fights and you’re not hurt, you don’t get hurt, it still takes two weeks to recover cause of all the hard training. But if you’re not training you’re going to get hurt.”
As far as what Frye said he would do to fix UFC 200’s main event, his plan was to completely give in to McGregor’s demands to save the show, which would certainly lose millions of dollars if he didn’t fight. It may or may not work, but it could be a moot point as the UFC doesn’t appear to be willing to bargain as Frye suggested:
“Ah hell, I would fly Conor in and take him out, wine him and dine him, tell him, ‘Okay, what do I gotta do to get you on the fight card and how many promos can I get from ya?’ You know, ‘We gotta push the show so we’re going to need some interviews. So how many are you willing to do?'”