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,