On Fox Sports' The Herd on Wednesday, Dana White gave the first real insight into how the UFC were treating Conor McGregor's retirement and his removal from UFC 200. The TL;DR version is that there's no animosity between the golden goose and the UFC but if McGregor doesn't want to stick by his contractual obligations, there was nothing for it other than to remove him from the showpiece event. As for the retirement, it's fair to say that White wasn't really buying that one.
The one thing that quite a few people picked up on was the fact that (a) said he believed McGregor would fight again this year and (b) he even conceded that if McGregor made the first move, the UFC 200 headlined bout could potentially be salvaged. So you're saying there's a chance?
Well maybe not. After appearing on The Herd, White later gave another in-depth interview, this time to UFC Tonight and he was rather more forthright with his opinions on McGregor and the announcement of his retirement.
Friday is not the first day of promotion. All of the fighters are here right now. Ten million dollars is going to be spent on promotion and the commercial alone is going to cost $1 million. He’s already missing stuff so the window is pretty much closed.
Not only that White also revealed the rather overlooked fact that McGregor's 'retirement' can't simply be ended at the drop of a hat. If he retires and walks away from his obligation (including random drug tests), there's a process that has to be observed.
If Conor is truly retired he would have to take four months off before he can come back because of USADA. You can’t say you’re retired and not have random drug testing for however long you’re out and then decide that you want to come back.
You can watch the full interview (via /r/mma) with White here or you can just watch McGregor in retirement training below should you so wish.
As for McGregor, he may say he's retired but judging by the video that Gunnar Nelson, shared from Iceland last night, he hasn't lost his love of training.