Conor McGregor is back on #UFC200 Card

Conor McGregor has done a spectacular u-turn and this morning announced he is once again set to fight Nate Diaz at UFC200.

The question remains though, have we just witnessed the best bit of promotion this century? It is hard not to see this as one big con from Dana White and the UFC. Maybe the original story about the Irishman being unwilling to fulfill as many media commitments was true but the amount of free column inches and TV time the McGregor retirement talk has received has been invaluable to the company.

As usual McGregor announced this in thrilling fashion with a tweet out of the blue:

This news comes as an even bigger surprise given that coach John Kavanagh last night penned an article where he stated that any deal looked very unlikely to happen.

At this stage, I think the only way Conor will feature at UFC 200 is if he’s a late replacement for someone else. We’re still training twice a day, aiming for 9 July.

Everything is on point to peak for UFC 200. The fight game is weird, you never know what could happen — there could be a pull-out with a couple of weeks to go — but realistically I think we’re planning for UFC 201 or UFC 202 in August or September. We’ll just tip along until then.

He then continues on to say that there is no such thing as “bad publicity”, a sentiment that will certainly be ringing true in UFC HQ this morning.

McGregor has just saved the company millions in advertising by sending the media world into a meltdown with his “retire young” tweet six days ago now and looking through the timeline of events it just figures more and more like he worked out a deal with Dana White where this was how he could promote his fight without having to do a whistle stop tour of the world to do so.

If this was the case it has been a stroke of genius from the company as they have kept one of the highest PPV selling stars happy while also garnering heightened media and public interest in UFC200 without spending a penny to do so.

There is also the more sinister rumour that this has been concocted to deflect away from Joao Carvalho’s death as had Conor been doing press conferences he would have without question been asked repeatedly about the Portugese MMA fighters death in Dublin recently.

One way or the other it seems as the rematch between Diaz and McGregor is now firmly back on the card and whether you feel relieved or conned by the turn around it is hard to argue that it is not what is best for business,

BREAKING: “I came to fight Conor McGregor and I don’t have too much interest in anyone else.” #UFC #UFC200

The press conference for UFC200 has just concluded at there was one notable absentee in Conor McGregor.

This did not stop a tirade of questions regarding his future from the assembled media and maybe unexpectedly, drew some interesting answers from possible opponent at UFC200, Nate Diaz.

 

While all this was going on, McGregor, who is obviously watching the press conference, sent out this tweet in response to the comments made by Dana White and Nate Diaz, José Aldo and Frankie Edgar about his absence from the press conference and his future with the company.

 

When a journalist made the American aware of this tweet Diaz simply answered “Conor got his ass beat”.

As the press conference ended, Diaz was then pictured talking privately on stage to Dana White.

Dana and Nate talking privately now on stage.

A post shared by Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) on

 

Clearly White was not impressed with the answers given by Diaz to the assembled media as it throws further doubt over the main bout touted for one of the biggest events in the company’s history.

Whatever the outcome, Dana White was quick to deflect the attention away from Conor McGregor’s absence and try to focus on the talent he has nailed down on what is still a stacked card.

He must be worried about PPV sales however. Despite all the hot air blown by UFC, the facts remain that the Irishman is worth near 1 million sales for the company and this is not to be scoffed at.

He has been that biggest face of the company in the last 18 months, the best supported fighter, the most recognized and the man who garners the most interest from sponsors and media in the build up and aftermath of the fights.

Everything regarding the finalization of the UFC200 card will be released in the coming weeks but one thing is for sure if this press conference is anything to go by, neither side looks like they will be backing down anytime soon.

MMA fighter Joao Carvalho dies after event in Dublin

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THE PORTUGUESE FIGHTER critically injured at an mixed martial arts (MMA) event in Dublin on Saturday night has died.

Joao Carvalho underwent emergency surgery at Beaumont Hospital following his defeat at the Total Extreme Fighting (TEF) event at the National Stadium but it was confirmed this morning that he died Monday night.

The Vitor Nobrega Team said they were “deeply saddened and dismayed” at the news and went on to offer their heartfelt condolences to the Carvalho and his family.

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TheSportsHangout attempted to contact EventMed, who were on call to provide medical cover at the TEF event, but were told they would not be commenting.

However, owner Katarzyna Michlic, told SevereMMA:

“”The doctors checked him between each round and each time he gave a full response to them. He responded to each question. He was asked where he was, what round he was going in to and what day of the week it was, and all of his answers were perfect.

“When the referee stopped the fight in the third round, our team of doctors and medics looked after him as he was bleeding quite heavily from his nose. He was asked if he felt any pain or was suffering with any headaches directly after the fight, and he said he had no pain or headaches, but he did feel quite tired.”

She also said that Carvalho was “walking, talking and smiling” after being checked out by the medical staff and it was only 20 minutes after the fight that his condition deteriorated.

In a statement today, TEF CEO Cesar Silva said:

“We extend our most sincere condolences to the family of João Carvalho’s and his teammates in Team Nobrega. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We’d also like to thank all sports fans for their concern and support.

“We will give whatever support we can to Joao’s family. We have been in contact with his family and they have requested that we all understand their need for privacy at this difficult time.”