There's a latent storyline within this current saga between the UFC and Conor McGregor.
When White said at a press conference Friday that McGregor would not be fighting at the UFC's debut card in New York on Nov. 12, it flew under the radar to most people. But not to John Kavanagh.
"That was hard to hear," McGregor's coach told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I really think that's going too far. [McGregor] was bold, but it wasn't anything that bad. If we get the slap on the wrist for 200, we definitely can't be put on the naughty [list] for New York."
White said Friday that McGregor will not fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200. Instead, he'll face the winner of an interim featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at a later date -- likely before the Madison Square Garden show in November. McGregor is the UFC's featherweight champion and the fight against Diaz would have been at welterweight.
Fighting in New York is very important to McGregor and his team. New York has been a hub for Irish immigrants since the 1800s. To this day, 12.9 percent of New York State residents claim Irish ancestry, the most of any state, according to the Wall Street Journal. And Irish Americans make up about 5.3 percent of New York City's population, with large Irish communities in both Queens and Brooklyn.
McGregor has been pulled from UFC 200, because he didn't want to fulfill media obligations last week in Las Vegas, including a commercial filming and photo shoot. McGregor said he wanted to concentrate on preparing for Diaz, who beat McGregor at UFC 196 last month. The UFC countered that McGregor had to be in attendance to promote the fight. White said that everyone else flew out to Las Vegas to do it and McGregor would not get special treatment.
Kavanagh said if McGregor is getting punished and yanked from UFC 200, that's one thing. But the UFC should not take New York away from him, too.
"As an Irish guy in New York, the first card in Madison Square Garden, I think Conor would show up anyway and fight someone in a changing room if [White] doesn't put him on the card," Kavanagh said. "We have to be put on the New York card."