It was perhaps the shortest retirement in history of sports.
As probably most of you who clicked on this post know, Conor McGregor announced his retirement on Twitter, was pulled out of UFC 200 (which is gonna supposedly be the biggest UFC event in history for obvious reasons) hours later, and later he posted a 600+ word Facebook update in which was explaining the reasons behind such attitude — confirming, of course, that he’s not retired.
The reasons why he was pulled out of UFC 200 were given by Dana White: Conor didn’t want to partecipate press events in the middle of training. The UFC boss said that refusing to do so means facing immediate consequences.
Now, we all know that Dana White wants to appear like a great business mind, while so obviously suffering inferiority complex because Vince McMahon (we are going to come back to WWE later on). Dana clearly wanted to appear like the boss, the alpha male in this beef. However, we all know that in some case, for business sake, that Alpha Male status must be put a side.
As of now, Conor McGregor is the biggest draw in the UFC, one of the most popular fighters in the world, he literally makes money rain in every event he takes part on, whether they are ratings or PPV buys. Plus, he is a legit fighter who did what very few people in the fighting business, going up in weigh class and be competitive in such.
In few words: Conor is no ordinary fighter, and this kind of personalities must be kept in any way possible, even if means bending some rules. We are talking about a name that con be compared to LeBron James, and I bet the NBA, although there were no reason to do so whatsoever, would bend the rules in case LeBron would do something wrong. And the reason is one and one only: as of now, LeBron is the reason why the NBA is making money, the same way La Liga is making money thanks to Messi; and, obviously, right now the UFC is making money thanks to Conor.
Of course, we are talking about ‘violations’ that are within the decency of moral and athletic limits. Limits which passing on a media conference is within without a doubt, at least for McGregor.
However, like we said, Dana pulled him out from the UFC 200 main event bout against Nate Diaz, which is perhaps the most hyped rematch in the history of UFC. Pull him out has been the most stupid decision White could take. Of course, I bet he will reinstate him, because I don’t think he will be stupid twice in a row.
However, what happen if he won’t? WWE of course, which will probably will be the real reason Dana will put him back in the main event.
As we said before, Dana suffer a severe inferiority complex towards Vince McMahon, for reasons. Given that the model UFC follows is heavily inspired by WWE in terms of programming (they would have a weekly show on TV if they could) as we can see by the trash talking that according to a lot of people is encouraged, the two products are heavily different, yet Dana talked the pro-wrestling business down in multiple occasions. Yes, the media are often forcing the comparison, but that doesn’t justify him talking it down. Of course he re-elaborate whatever he said/wrote with diplomacy.
Yet, when he signed CM Punk (which is perhaps the 4th most popular fighter in the UFC roster without having had a single fight yet), he clearly did it to make him spit shit about WWE. This was never officially said, and never will, but come on, we ain’t stupid.
Now, Conor McGregor would be WWE gold. He knows how to talk, he has the look, and would poor money. Him vs Triple H, vs AJ Styler, vs The Rock, vs John Cena, vs The Undertaker, vs Brock Lesnar. All these are sold out shows even if they were one-match only.
Also, differently from the UFC boss, Vince is known to bend the rules for the best of business. Lesnar and Rock have very unique contracts, which, if we want, are not really righteous in regards of the 300+ dates all the other athletes signed on. Rock broke the script in February live on Raw which required a on-spot rewriting of the following segments/matches. Jericho comes and go pretty much when he wants, obviously remaining very professional during that time. The McMahons would not think twice to offer a seven digit contract to McGregor, with perhaps limited appearances a-la-Lesnar, because they know they will make money. All this without considering the major worldwide exposure Conor would gain, which is way superior than the one he gets right now in UFC. If we add up his rather young age (27) compared to the rest of the WWE roster… If you still think Vince and his team are not a threat, you’re just blind.
So, for all this reasons, Conor McGregor has the upper hand, and that’s why Dana is going to reinstate him.