UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald tweeted his support for featherweight champion Conor McGregor on Saturday after the UFC pulled McGregor from his scheduled rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200 for refusing to meet certain promotional obligations before the fight.
He continued, talking about the balance of power and influence in MMA:
UFC lightweight Michael Johnson countered that McGregor could afford to take a stand, but MacDonald continued to offer his support for the featherweight champion:
We try to give as much leeway as we can on things, but you have to show up and promote the fight. Is it too much to ask to try to shoot a commercial for the fight? A lot of these guys came here from different parts of the world. But, you know, these guys all came. They have better things to do, and they're here. It's part of the job.
We gave Conor every opportunity in the world to get here, too. We get criticized a lot for bending too much for Conor, and we do. Conor is a guy who has stepped up and fought big fights on short notice, and I respect Conor very much as a fighter, and I like him, but you have to show up and do this stuff.
McGregor offered a quick reply on Twitter, noting: "Everyone flew in. Respect. But not everyone up there made the company $400 million in eight months."
McGregor's stance in this particular instance—and MacDonald's defense of that stance—has the potential to become a major issue between the UFC and its fighters. MacDonald, who is 18-3 in his fighting career and 9-3 in the UFC, has continued to evaluate his worth within the company.
"Martial arts was always a fun thing; I never thought about money," he told Steven Marrocco and Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com. "But now it’s come to a point where I’ve done a lot of things, and my value is up there. I thank the UFC for the opportunities that brought me to that. I’d just like to be compensated and live a comfortable life for my family and provide for them.”
MacDonald's upcoming fight against Stephen Thompson on June 18 is his final bout under his current contract with the UFC. It would appear the fighter will be using McGregor's current standoff with the organization as inspiration to earn a more lucrative contract for himself.
"The perfect scenario is that I have the performance of my life against Stephen, re-sign with the UFC with the numbers I want and fight for the title and win," MacDonald told MMAJunkie.com. "Then, I'm sitting pretty."
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