Veteran referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy had a conversation with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta at UFC 197 last weekend, and it seems as though Fertitta was shocked that Conor McGregor refused the media duties based on the amount of money that he would be earning if he were to fight at UFC 200.
“I talked to Lorenzo Fertitta at UFC 197” McCarthy stated on his podcast. “Lorenzo said, I never though that when a fighter was garunteed $10 million I would have a problem”.
When Fertitta bought the UFC off Bob Meyrowitz on 2001 for $2 million, he stated that his goal was to pay a fighter $1 million.
“Back in 2001 when Fertitta bought the UFC off Bob Meyrowitz, myself and Lorenzo were standing in the Mark Etess Arena which is in the Trump Taj Mahal hotel in Atlantic City and he told me at the time that he [Fertitta] wanted to be the promoter to pay fighters $1 million to fight.
Conor McGregor was expected to rematch Nate Diaz at UFC 200 however McGregor tweeted supposed retirement on April 19. The UFC announced that he was pulled from the event and a replacement for him is being sought. UFC President Dana White clarified that McGregor’s removal was related to his refusal to come to a press conference that week, because “he was in Iceland training and didn’t want to ruin his preparation for the fight”.
McGregor released a statement two days later, claiming he is not retired and that he requested the UFC to allow him to focus more on the fight preparation this time, as he feels he lost his focus during the media obligations for the last fight. He gave an ultimatum, saying he’s ready for the event and would come for a scheduled New York press conference, but if that’s not enough, he “doesn’t know what to say”.
The UFC eventually cancelled the fight and replaced it with Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2 to headline UFC 200 for the UFC light heavyweight title.
Listen to the John McCarthy – Let’s get in on podcast below.