Don Frye is standing firmly behind Conor McGregor in his decision to request some time off from promotional duties for the UFC.
McGregor, who was expected to headline UFC 200 in a welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz, was pulled from the event after announcing his retirement on Twitter last week. The Irishman then clarified his tweet with a lengthy statement on Facebook, claiming that he was still preparing for Diaz and simply wanted more time in the gym and less time in front of the cameras. McGregor refused to attend a press conference in Las Vegas but vowed make amends in New York.
The UFC, however, refused to budge from their position and announced earlier today that Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier II will feature as the new main event for the mega-PPV.
Frye, who is an MMA veteran of 15 years, believes Dana White is throwing a fit over the issue and says this behaviour is typical of the UFC president.
“I think he’s right. He’s spot on,” Frye said to Submission Radio, per Denis Shkuratov. “I mean that takes so much god damn time away from you. You’re hired to be a fighter not to be an interview, you know, or interviewee. You’ve got things to do. 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. And so you gotta prepare yourself for it, because shit, just training – if you’re in one of those fights and you’re not hurt, you don’t get hurt, it still takes two weeks to recover cause of all the hard training. But if you’re not training you’re going to get hurt.”
Many fighters voiced their support for McGregor on social media, including former UFC welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald.
my opinion @TheNotoriousMMA did the right thing, us fighters could learn a thing or 2 bout knowing r worth. also we should support eachother
— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) April 23, 2016
Dear, Conor, I am willing to put on my best Irish accent and do all your press obligations so you can train. Your pal, Elias. #UFC200
— The Spartan (@EliasTheodorou) April 21, 2016
How can you not respect this guy? Plays the game better than everyone but shows his real self when you feels needed. https://t.co/hWV7LM0LEG
— Zak Cummings (@ZakCummings) April 21, 2016
I wish all MMA fighters could be treated like other athletes and focus on their CRAFT, and not their promotions …tell em @TheNotoriousMMA
— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) April 21, 2016
Despite the support, it looks like MMA’s premiere promotion will be making an example of McGregor by also denouncing him from UFC 205 in New York. The Dubliner’s long-time coach, John Kavanagh, said the UFC are going ‘too far’ with their actions.
UFC 200 is set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 9th.
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