Conor McGregor offers his services for UFC 200, wishes Jon Jones well

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Thursday, July 7, 2016

LAS VEGAS -- The irony of UFC 200 is not lost on Conor McGregor.

McGregor was originally supposed to headline UFC 200 against Nate Diaz, but he was pulled from the event when he refused to attend a news conference in April. The UFC replaced that main event with a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

On Wednesday, the UFC was forced to scrap that fight after Jones was flagged with a potential anti-doping violation. As a result, a heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt, which was added to the UFC's landmark card last month, will be the headliner.

"I could sit up here and say, 'Well, well, well,'" McGregor said during a news conference Thursday. "I am a successful human being, and successful human beings do not celebrate in the adversity or misfortune of others.

"So, I wish Jones well. I wish everyone backstage well. I know they're running around like headless chickens, trying to get everything together."

McGregor was then asked whether the thought had crossed his mind to step up and fight at UFC 200 on two days' notice.

His response: "I'm here and in shape. All they gotta do is ask."

Jones, 28, is facing a potential two-year suspension if he's unable to successfully appeal a failed drug test from June 16.

McGregor, meanwhile, will fight Diaz in a welterweight bout at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas. The current featherweight champion, McGregor (19-3) suffered the first loss of his UFC career to Diaz, who took the March fight on less than two weeks' notice.

"All I missed was a press conference," McGregor said. "If you look at the facts, the main event [Jones and Cormier] and co-main event [Lesnar vs. Hunt] weren't even at that press conference.

"But it is what it is. Aug. 20 is my date. UFC 202, the real UFC 200. And I will have my redemption."

Diaz (19-10) was also in attendance for Thursday's news conference but remained relatively quiet.

Diaz lost the first round of the first fight with McGregor before rallying to a submission in the second. When asked what would be different with a full training camp this time, Diaz responded: "Should be better."

McGregor has said that he didn't properly prepare for the move up in weight and that was the main reason he lost. He has made additions to his training camp to prepare specifically for Diaz.

"Usually, I don't prepare for a specific opponent," McGregor said. "The reasons for that are clear to everybody -- everybody I face pulls out. They all pull out.

"This time, I'm preparing for a tall, lanky, ugly, Mexican southpaw. And that's it."