WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Chalk up Cain Velasquez on the UFC's side in the promotion's disagreement with Conor McGregor.
Velasquez, the former UFC heavyweight champion, said he doesn't personally care whether or not McGregor is fighting at UFC 200, but he doesn't blame the UFC for pulling him for not wanting to fly into the United States to do press.
"I'm doing it, everybody else is doing it," Velasquez said Tuesday at a UFC 200 media day. "Can I see his side? No, not really. I'm doing it. Everybody else is doing it. If he had to do way more than what we had to do, OK then, yes. I could definitely see that. But if he's not, if he's doing the same thing, then no. We're all doing it."
Beginning last week, the high-profile fighters scheduled to compete at UFC 200 began a media tour, stretching to different corners of the country. Velasquez and his opponent Travis Browne were in Los Angeles the last two days after everyone was in Las Vegas. McGregor would have went to Vegas, Stockton, Calif., and then on to New York for a press conference and appearance on "Good Morning America." Frankie Edgar, Jose Aldo, Miesha Tate and others are in New York now.
McGregor, though, said he didn't want to interrupt his training camp for Nate Diaz, the man who beat him last month at UFC 196. McGregor said he would go to New York this week and do more media in May when he's in Los Angeles before the fight. However, the UFC had a commercial filming and photo shoot scheduled for last week in Vegas and wanted McGregor there. He refused and the UFC pulled him from the card.
"I feel that we all do have obligations to do this kind of stuff," Velasquez said. "I'm a guy that hates doing this. When I first started to fight, I thought it was just training and fighting and that was it. 'OK, you've gotta do interviews.' [I was like,] 'What?' Doing it now, yeah I'm kind of comfortable with doing it. I can do it pretty easily, I feel like. I feel like it is part of the job. You've gotta do this and train and fight."
McGregor pointed out during the UFC 200 press conference Friday in a tweet that everyone else flew in for the media events, but he's the only one to make the UFC $400 million over the last eight months. While the brash Irishman has a point, the UFC and president Dana White have not budged. On Sunday, McGregor tweeted that he was back on the card. A few hours later, White told media outlets that it wasn't true and no deal had been brokered.
Velasquez, who has done a ton of media for the UFC as heavyweight champion and their biggest star in Mexico, said everyone has gotten to the point where they don't want to do anymore media. Velasquez is not a big fan of it at all, calling it "the worst part of the job." But he said the UFC has been flexible when he has said enough is enough.
"I guess it all depends on what you can handle," Velasquez said. "Some people can do this kind of stuff all day, some people can't. I understand that. You just talk to whoever is with you. The PR people from the UFC are great. We just talk to them and say, 'Hey, this is too much.'"
It wouldn't have bothered Velasquez if the UFC kept McGregor on UFC 200, but he certainly gets where the promotion is coming from in removing him.
"Again, that's not fair to the other fighters I would say, also," Velasquez said. "But me personally, I don't care. You came, you didn't come. If he fights on the card, if he doesn't, I'm just happy to be back. That's it."
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