Johnson releases a lengthy statement in which he complains about multiple issues, including lack of promotion, from the UFC. He says White has been trying to bully him to take fights he does not want.
For years I have been a company man and kept quiet, accepting fights, doing as they asked, and always remaining humble and grateful for the opportunities provided to me through mixed martial arts. This is how I was raised through the sport. Unfortunately, UFC’s mistreatment and bullying has finally forced me to speak out…
- I agreed to their tyrannical demand to fight Ray Borg and Ray also agreed.
- UFC has refused to give me PPV points on any future flyweight bouts, and has never given me any PPV points on previous bouts. My request was fair and the matchmaker in charge of the flyweight and bantamweight division agreed.
- I gave UFC fair conditions to change the fight to TJ Dillashaw and they refused.
- Dana and Sean have told me that they have no interest in marketing me or the smaller divisions, so when they say that I will make PPV money vs. Dillashaw, they leave out the fact that I have to hit certain numbers of buys, which will not be hit if they fail in marketing me like they have in my previous fights.
- If TJ doesn’t make weight, I can’t break the record for the most consecutive title defenses and they have denied paying me in that circumstance.
- Dana has made an effort to bully me in the media as well as in private, in order to get what he wants, even though it is not what is best for me or the sport.
- If Dana says this will be a big PPV fight for me, and that they will promote it properly, then he can pay for it up front and explain to Ray Borg why he is being taken out of the fight that the UFC matchmaker in charge of the division put him in. Otherwise, it is just another lie and attempt to bully me to do something that Dana wants, but is not the right thing to do for the sport or my career.
- UFC’s track record in making an effort to promote my fights, and Dana’s claim that this is a big chance for PPV dollars for me tells a different story than what Dana is stating to the public.
Jeff Mayweather says McGregor has been offered an uneven split by the UFC to fight his nephew.
Last I heard, Conor McGregor has to take a horrendous split: 80 to 20 percent. [McGregor] would have to take 20 percent, if he’s allowed to fight. And the one thing is that Dana’s his boss. He’ll still make more money than he ever did, but at the same time … that’s a very tough pill to swallow.
In his most recent podcast, Sonnen talks about the ongoing rift between the UFC and McGregor, noting the UFC’s power to make stars.
When Randy Couture retired and Tito Ortiz got into his pissing match and stepped aside, they were left with absolutely no stars and they created one overnight called Andrei Arlovski…His skills were not great but he had the look and he had the marketing machine behind him and the next thing you knew, not only was he ranked #1, but he was also selling out arenas. The point I’m trying to make, and Conor may not know this story, they created something out of nothing overnight, it literally took them just over a week to do it…Tito was soon forgotten. Tito – who was the biggest star at the time – could not get an appearance at the local country fair and the same thing can happen with Conor. And you think that it can’t, but it can, and it can happen overnight. If he wants to puff and if he puffs a little too hard. If in the office he becomes too hard to deal with and they can’t get something done. It’s going to be game over, and it’s going to be game over in record time. And that’s what he doesn’t understand. He thinks he’s going to come on shows like this [podcasts] or go on Sports Centre and tell his side, he will not. When we all get the email that says ‘he’s out and this is who’s in’, that’s who we are then going to talk to…It’s like, ‘hey man, as good as you think you are, not only is there a guy who can beat you, we know who the guy is and we will put his name opposite your’s once you force us to and we will show you, time and time again, who is in control here and who really set this table.
Diaz says the UFC is sidelining him.
I know what this is: I’m being put on the shelf. That’s why I’m trying to get a boxing license…No one says they want a big-deal fight against me. If someone wants to fight, then let’s make a big deal.
McGregor says he is weighing up his options regarding his dealings with UFC. His only contact with the organization has been through the news he’s received through the media saying he’s been stripped of his featherweight title.
I’m weighing up my options. Again, I expect that conversation, I expect them to fly that jet to me. Ari (Emanuel), Patrick (Whitesell), the new owners from WME-IMG, the guys that bought the UFC for $4 billion, I want to speak to them…I want to see what their plan is cause right now I don’t know what anybody’s plan is. All I know is they’re trying to type onto a keyboard and say we’re taking this belt and we’re taking that belt, we’re doing this, we’re doing that — you ain’t doing nothing without contacting me first. I’m ready for anything. I did say I was going to take a break but a Christmas break, the holidays. At least give me the holidays off. We’ll see what happens in the future.
In the post-event press conference for UFC Belfast, the UFC says it is still working to bring McGregor to Ireland to fight.
We’re working through all the different possibilities for Conor. Obviously there are a number of things up in the air at the moment. We’ve made no secret about the fact that we’d love to figure out a way to get it done. He’s gone on to such success that it’s something which I know he’s keen to try and get done as well. It’s very, very complicated to try and bring him back, particularly to Dublin. We’ll always try and figure out the best way of getting it done if we can. We’re working on it. As long as [markets continue to grow], it makes my case a lot easier every time we go and start discussing where we put these fights. The fact that we’ve got more European champions now than we’ve ever had before means that those conversations are also easier to have. It’s a complicated business putting it all together, but if we can do, there’s no limit to our ambition for these markets so we’re going to keep pushing as hard as we can.
UFC announces that Cormier and Jones will lead the ticket for UFC 200, a light heavyweight bout that replaces McGregor v. Diaz. Cormier and Jones were originally set to rematch at UFC 197, until Cormier had to pull out due to injury.
Joe Brolly writes an editorial in The Sunday Independent saying that following the death of Carvalho, UFC and other violent sports should be banned.
The truth is that violent sports are a rich man’s play thing, where poor men try to put each other into a coma for our amusement. These violent life-and-death sports are fun. They bring us to somewhere primitive inside us. It is why the spectators in the Colosseum gasped and cheered as the knife was thrust home. The law permits it. And it shouldn’t. Time to ban these violent pro sports. Sometimes, human beings have to be protected from themselves…Is it good enough that a young man be beaten to death in a cage for our amusement? Is it good enough that as he begins the slow process of dying, lying on the canvas like a tranquillised cow in the abattoir, Conor McGregor, our most famous sportsman, is giving high fives all around, laughing, and beating his chest? Is it?
White announces that, due to Cain Velazquez and Fabricio Werdum, pulling out of the main event fight due to injuries, the UFC’s upcoming event will not be a pay-per-view event, but instead will be shown on Fox Sports 1. The original co-main event, Hendricks against Thompson, will headline the upcoming fight card.
Punk signs with UFC fighting. He is set to make his fighting debut sometime in 2015. At 185 pounds, he will fight as a middleweight. Punk comments:
This is my new career, 100-percent. I’m going to go full steam ahead, all systems go after today, and it’s going to be fun. My professional wrestling days are over, it’s awesome to be here. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
White says that despite receiving a bigger offer of $5 billion for UFC, he went with Emanuel’s lower offer of $4.2 billion, due to Emanuel’s experience.
Let me be honest with you, when we were doing this deal there were two groups that came in for more money than Ari [Emanuel]. There was one [offer] for $5 billion…There’s people who I believe add value. One of the million things I respect about the Fertitta’s, they weren’t just going to let this thing go for the money. They were going to make sure it went to somebody who could actually take it and bring it to the next level. Ari is one of these guys, he’s got huge balls, he’s very smart, and he has laid out a really great plan for the sport. The vision that Ari has for it right now, I am on board and I love it.