We spoke to Severe MMA's Andrew McGahon on the Racket today. No more than anyone not currently holed up in a gym in Iceland, he doesn't have the inside track on McGregor's thinking this week but he can reasonably speculate.
Dana White has protested that the UFC still enjoys a harmonious relationship with McGregor. He does not believe he is going to retire and insists that McGregor is staying away from Vegas purely because it might interrupt his preparations.
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Why has Conor McGregor, previously its ringmaster, suddenly grown so weary of the hype machine? There is much speculation that the dispute
If it is a pay dispute or that Conor feels he's worth more, this could be something revolutionary in Mixed Martial Arts. That a fighter is finally saying 'Actually I don't feel I'm getting what I'm worth here so I'm going to step back from the sport and you guys can do what you want to do'.
And that turns into the PR spin save of 'oh yeah, we've pulled him 'cos he won't do this and he won't do that'.
When realistically it could be a case of 'if the UFC generates X amount of revenue from this event and Conor only gets Y amount, then maybe he should be entitled to a little bit more...
Like Ariel Helwani, he says one discount the impact of the tragic death of Joao Carvalho nine days ago. Helwani said that McGregor didn't want to embark on a media tour when the death of Carvalho remained such a prominent topic of discussion.
He's already in a position that he's not going to go hungry and his grandchildren probably aren't going to go hungry.
He's after seeing the other side of the world. Maybe after witnessing someone pass away in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. When you already have your family's life secured. You have a girlfriend you've been with for ten years. You're able to give them anything they want in the world. And then he saw it being taken away from someone.
And maybe that plays in your head. 'Why am I still risking it when I have all this money made already? I can make money doing movies, entertianment and promoting fights. All of those things may have popped into his head.'