ESPN’s top UFC insider Ariel Helwani ripped the company for “wasting” Conor McGregor by not keeping the world’s biggest MMA superstar active in the sport in 2020. Helwani discussed the UFC’s handling of its biggest commodity during the latest episode of ESPN’s “DC and Helwani”.
“I just don’t understand how we got to this point,” Helwani said. “You are wasting a Conor McGregor who is out of trouble.”
Helwani expressed disbelief over McGregor’s single fight in 2020 and sudden retirement from the sport in June.
“He’s done everything that’s been asked of him as the star and you can’t get him a fight?” Helwani asked. “I can’t wrap my head around that.”
Daniel Cormier Defends UFC
Cormier defended the UFC.
The fighter told Helwani that he believes the company has such huge momentum right now that it essentially doesn’t need McGregor to be successful and that UFC president Dana White is keenly aware of that fact right now.
So the UFC isn’t going out of its way to work with McGregor.
“We’ll keep rolling without you if we have to,” Cormier said of White’s mindset.
Ariel Helwani Suggests Opponent Options
Regardless, Helwani reminded Cormier that McGregor, unlike holdout Jon Jones and recent holdout Jorge Masvidal, wasn’t asking for money or anything like that.
In that way, White is essentially playing hardball with McGregor for no reason.
“But who does he fight?” Cormier retorted.
Helwani suggested plenty of solid options: “Diaz. Masvidal. Poirier. Ferguson.”
While Cormier didn’t like all four of those ideas, he did admit that he liked most of them and even suggested that he thought the UFC would be happy to make the third McGregor vs. Diaz fight happen if that’s what both fighters wanted.
But Helwani didn’t let his cohort off the hook.
“Why isn’t’ the UFC trying to make the fight?” Helwani asked.
You can watch Helwani and Cormier discuss the issue below.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 3, 2020
Conor McGregor Appears Headed Back Inside Boxing Ring
McGregor appears headed back into a boxing ring sometime soon.
The 32-year-old has all but announced his intention of facing WBC welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in a crossover megafight, something the Irishman revealed back in January he had long been working on.
Moreover, McGregor’s Instagram feed has been filled to the brim with pictures and videos of the fighter continuing to train in that sport even after he told the world he was retiring in June.
So even if McGregor’s desired Pacquiao superfight fell through for some reason or all the smoke to that fire just turned out to be a ploy by the Irishman to lure Floyd Mayweather into a lucrative boxing rematch, the world’s biggest UFC star definitely doesn’t appear to be climbing back inside the Octagon anytime soon.
Instead, he’ll be boxing the likes of Pacquiao, Mayweather, or some other fighter, and he’ll be doing so for much more money than he’d make in MMA and all for what basically appears from the outside looking in as no good reason.
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