Have you noticed that Conor McGregor has done virtually no press for his upcoming fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov? Well, the UFC has too and they’re not happy about it.
A new report suggests the organisation is growing increasingly frustrated with McGregor for doing very little to help sell tickets for the upcoming UFC 229 megafight.
Fans have gotten used to the Irishman strutting his stuff in press conferences, being loud on social media and just generally creating headlines wherever he goes in the build-up to a big fight.
But there’s been precious little of that in the lead up to the fight against Nurmagomedov – now little more than a month away – even though many consider it to be one of the biggest UFC fights in history.
While the UFC is not happy with this arrangement, they really aren’t in a position to dole out any punishment either due to McGregor’s stardom.
That’s according to well-respected boxing and MMA journalist Dave Meltzer, who addressed the issue recently in his Wrestling Observer newsletter.
“One of the reasons you haven’t seen much in the way of interviews and such is that McGregor has not agreed to do anything,” said Meltzer.
“There are no press conferences scheduled because McGregor at this point hasn’t agreed to them. There is a lot of frustration within the UFC about McGregor’s attitude, but in the end, he’s got the leverage and the ticket sales and secondary market results only give him more leverage.”
Meltzer also reckons that McGregor might be avoiding the press because he knows Nurmagomedov will present him with his toughest challenge to date.
“The feeling is that this may be the biggest non-boxing PPV of all-time, and the only reason it wouldn’t be is that McGregor hasn’t been pushing it hard,” Meltzer wrote.
“McGregor was able to get a larger piece of the action for this fight than any of his UFC fights to date, so there is a direct correlation more than ever between his work in promoting the fight and his pocket book, but this may also show that he knows he’s in a real fight and doesn’t want to break training.”
We’re unlikely to see any press conference featuring McGregor and Nurmagomedov until mid to late September, which is when veteran MMA journalist Damon Martin reports McGregor will arrive in Las Vegas to finish up his training camp.
Now it appears Conor McGregor is not expected to return to Las Vegas until mid to late September to finish up his camp for UFC 229 per @MeganOlivi
Still no word on a press conference or event featuring both Conor and Khabib. #UFC229
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) 30 August 2018
UFC 229 is set for October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.