UFC president Dana White has denied claims Conor McGregor has been reinstated for UFC 200. The 27-year-old Irishman announced he was once again set to fight a rematch against Nate Diaz at the much-anticipated event in Las Vegas on 9 July, following his shock retirement from the sport last week.
However, White has subsequently denied those claims, insisting no deal has been agreed for McGregor to appear on that card at the new T-Mobile Arena. The UFC boss said McGregor's claims were "not true", telling the Los Angeles Times: "We haven't talked [to] Conor or his manager since the press conference. I don't know why he would tweet that."
Meanwhile, White also told the gossip website TMZ there was no chance of McGregor fighting Diaz at UFC 200. "I feel like the scene in 'Step Brothers' when they ask if they can build the bunk beds," White said. "I don't know how many more times I can say the fight is off or how many more press conferences I can have saying the fight is off for people to believe it's off."
By contrast, McGregor informed his Twitter followers on Sunday (24 April) that he had been reinstated for the eagerly awaited event, after initially backing out of the contest in a dispute over the promotional demands placed on the fighters. "Happy to announce that I am BACK on UFC 200! Shout out to@danawhite and @lorenzofertitta on getting this one done for the ones. #Respect," he wrote.
The announcement came shortly after he posted a lengthy message on Facebook clarifying that he had not retired from the sport and was willing to compete at UFC 200, despite his misgivings about pre-fight promotional activities.
"It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way. I feel the $400m I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside eight months, is enough to get me this slight leeway. I am still ready to go for UFC 200," he explained on social media.
"I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions. If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don't know what to say.
"For the record also – For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations – I AM NOT RETIRED (sic)," McGregor said previously.