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White responds to McGregor, says he turned down short-notice fight at UFC 249

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Dana White alleges that Conor McGregor turned down a short-notice fight at UFC 249.

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

First Jon Jones, then Jorge Masvidal, and now Conor McGregor.

Those are are just some of the fighters currently in the midst of a contract dispute with the UFC over fighter pay.

McGregor claims to have retired so, technically speaking, he isn’t involved in any kind of contract dispute but the Irishman did accuse the premiere fight promotion of trying to stomp all over him during negotiations.

McGregor’s comments didn’t go unheard by Dana White, as the UFC president alleges that ‘The Notorious’ made his announcement out of frustration over the proposed lightweight title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

According to White, McGregor turned down a short-notice fight at UFC 249 and is mad that he missed out on the opportunity to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title, which would have set him up for a rematch with Khabib.

“He wants to fight Gaethje. Gaethje just won to get the fight with Khabib,” White explained when appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday (h/t MMA Fighting). “He just beat Tony Ferguson. Conor had the opportunity to slide into that spot if Khabib or Tony fell out.

“He came back and said ‘I’m not a replacement fighter, I’m not going to do it.’ He would be in that position now if he took the fight. He didn’t, Gaethje did so Gaethje gets it.”

White continued... “Conor McGregor is frustrated right now because I mean look what’s going on. Look at what we’re pulling off. We’re literally just going to Yas Island right now to pull off these fights because the hardest thing to do right now is to get people into the country from other parts of the world. We are a true global business. We’re the only one pulling off live sports right now. If I continue to do fights in the United States, I’m going to burn out all my American talent.

“Now we got Yas Island ready to go, it’s set up. This is just a matter of Conor being frustrated I think in that he can’t get what he wants right now. It’s just not possible.”

White recently confirmed Abu Dhabi as the mystery location for Fight Island and that UFC 251 would feature as the first UFC Fight Island event.