UFC veteran Don Frye thinks Dana White is in the wrong when it comes to the Conor McGregor dispute, which has seen the Irishman removed from the main event at UFC 200.
McGregor refused to fulfil his press obligations ahead of the summer showpiece, which has long been anticipated to be one of the biggest occasions in the sport’s history, and his bout with Nate Diaz has been subsequently scrapped.
Speaking with Submission Radio (h/t Adam Guillen Jr. of MMA Mania), Frye reckons the UFC boss must shoulder the blame:
When you're training for a fight it's a 24/7 job, and if they got you doing more interviews and promoting than they do fighting, well then you're not going to last long. You're not going to have a long career. How do I say this without being rude? I guess I can't, so I'll piss on it. You know, Dana likes everything his way and if he doesn't get his way he throws a fit, and that's what's happening. You know, and Conor's spot on, man. You can't spend more time doing interviews than training. This is a dangerous sport, okay? And the thing is, it went from a fight to a sport to a TV show. And it's still a dangerous thing.
Here’s Frye’s interview with Submission Radio in full, in which he also encourages White to seek a compromise with McGregor in order to get him back in the main event. *Warning, NSFW language*:
Previously, Frye, who fought seven times under the UFC banner in 1996, has accused White of having “ruined the sport”, per Sherdog’s Savage Dog Show.
Diaz and McGregor were set for a much anticipated rematch in the summer. The former sprung a big surprise to get the better of the Notorious at UFC 196, choking out his illustrious opponent in the second round of his welterweight debut. An immediate shot at redemption for the Irishman would have made for captivating viewing.
McGregor took to social media earlier this week to claim he was back on the card for UFC 200, although those suggestions were dismissed by White when TMZ caught up with him. Diaz himself then cast further doubts over this one going ahead, stating on Twitter that he’s off on holiday.
It’s a story that has hooked the attention of MMA fans around the world. FloSports’ Jeremy Botter summed up just how much clout McGregor has when it comes to social media:
UFC finds itself in a no-win situation. There will be pressures from plenty, like Frye, to reinstate the Notorious in the main event, and an undeniable temptation to give in to his demands when considering the lucrative benefits of getting him the bill. However, that’d be a lot of ammunition for those who accuse the company of pandering to McGregor as it is.
Either way, it leaves the preparations for UFC 200 in disarray. Many fans of the sport have been looking forward to the July date for so long and now, what many considered to be an underwhelming card already, has been robbed of its main event.
Frankie Edgar, who will fight Jose Aldo on the night, feels that had McGregor beaten Diaz last time out, this ongoing saga may not have existed, per ESPN MMA:
It’s going to be fascinating to see how things pan out between now and UFC 200. McGregor seems intent on playing games, stirring up the fans and heaping pressure on White to get him back on the biggest show of the year. Should other figures, like Frye, continue to side with the featherweight champion, it’ll be harder to resist for the UFC boss.
Still, White will maintain that every competitor has a duty to promote their fights, and McGregor’s own reputation has been forged by the platform the company has given him to build his cult of personality. Allowing a fighter to opt out of such obligations when it suits would set a dangerous precedent.