White says McGregor can pull more pay-per-views than Mayweather, and talks about Manny Pacquiao’s earnings.
Here’s the thing, Manny Pacquiao ended up doing that fight and you hear all these numbers thrown around, but it’s something like Floyd got $250 [million], Manny got $100 [million]. It’s still a lot of money for both guys, but it’s not a big fight without Manny. Manny was as important in that fight as Floyd was…I’m going to tell you why Conor McGregor is still doing over a million pay-per-view buys and Floyd isn’t. Because Conor McGregor will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime, including Floyd Mayweather. He absolutely is that guy. Whether Conor fights Floyd or he doesn’t, there’s a line of guys that are ready to fight Conor that Conor will fight that are going to do over a million pay-per-view buys. Conor McGregor loves to fight and he is one of those guys that will take on anyone, anywhere. Floyd keeps putting this thing on his social media of Conor getting choked by (Nate) Diaz, but Conor fights.
Sharpe says by telling McGregor what he’s worth in a fight against Mayweather, White has given the Irishman more negotiating power ahead of his next bout in the UFC.
If I’m Conor McGregor, I say I appreciate that Dana White because for the longest time you told me and you told everybody that would listen and every fight fan in the UFC, Ronda Rousey is the biggest draw. You just went on television or you went on radio and said ‘Conor McGregor is the ‘A’ side’. So whether I fight Floyd Mayweather or not, it’s going to cost you $25 million plus a back end part of the pay-per-view going forward. That’s all he’s done. Conor McGregor’s going to double down now. I want to talk to you about a piece, but going forward it’s $25 million for me to step into the ring and then we’ll negotiate the back end on pay-per-view buys. Because if I’m the ‘A’ guy, I don’t really need Floyd. Because I’m the ‘A’ guy. People are coming to see me.
Mayweather talks about White’s offer.
The last time I made $25 million was ten years ago. I’m not bragging or boasting, I’m just telling the truth. I’m appreciative and thankful. $25 million is still great money. For the last however many years, my guaranteed lowest is $32m. But in the Canelo fight I made over $100 million. And Canelo and Pacquiao made over $400 million. Just me, sponsorship money leading up to the Pacquiao fight, that week I made something like $25-30 million. If I was so desperate and hurting for money I’d be back…I don’t want to talk to Dana White. Dana White was a player, he was a boss, but he was a small boss…so Dana is just an employee. I like Dana White, I don’t have anything against him. I remember when he used to carry my bags. Now he’s such a tough guy. All I got to say is this, ‘Why everytime Conor McGregor go out there and fight, Dana White makes more money than Conor McGregor when Conor McGregor go out there and fight.’
White says Mayweather is wrong to turn down his $25 million offer.
First of all Floyd thinks he’s so much bigger than Conor — he’s wrong. Listen, Floyd’s gone undefeated for 20 years. I give him all the credit in the world for doing that. Conor’s been around for three or four years, and for him to think he’s a much bigger star than Conor isn’t true, and I’m not going to pay him way more money than I’m gonna pay my guy. We all know that $25 million is not peanuts, and so does he. He’s hanging his watch out the window. His watch is the problem, ok? If you’re wearing a watch that’s $250,000 you’re gonna $25 million real quick pal. And hey Floyd! Taxes are coming up too, buddy. They’re gonna be all over you, pal.. Floyd said that he made an offer. He never made an offer. It’s not true. I made an offer. OK. So if you’re serious there’s a real offer. Where do we go from here Floyd?
Mayweather responds to White’s $25 million offer to fight McGregor:
You’re a f-cking comedian!
White offers both McGregor and Mayweather $25 million each as well as a portion of PPV for the fight to take place under the UFC banner.
In response to Streep’s comments during her Golden Globes acceptance speech:
If all these outsiders and foreigners were kicked out of Hollywood, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
The last thing in the world I expect is an uppity, 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts…I’m not a big fan of golf, doesn’t mean people should stop watching it. If you don’t like it change the channel…Of course it’s an art. These men and women are so talented. They train their whole lives to become the best in the world, and the people who get into the UFC are the elite of the elite. Saying something stupid like that is like saying she’s not a talented actress…We have champions from all over the world, men and women. It was a completely uneducated comment.
During the UFC 207 Media Scrum, White says Nick Diaz has turned down every welterweight fight offered by UFC, including a fight against McGregor. Diaz reportedly turned down the McGregor fight to keep it for his brother, Nate.
Despite McGregor saying he could fight earlier than May 2017. White says he is not currently looking to book McGregor into any fights.
The last conversation that Conor and I had he was taking 10 months off. I’m not even thinking about Conor. Conor is not in my plans for the next 10 months. We run a business where we make fights. I know who’s available and I know who’s not available. Conor told me ‘I’m not available for 10 months, we’re having a baby, my girl stresses out when I fight and I don’t want to put that on her while she’s pregnant.’ I love it, I respect it, I get it. Do your thing, buddy…That’s it. He’s not in any of our plans for the next 10 months.
White says he is fine with giving Rousey a pass on promotion this time.
If you look at the amount of press that has been done by any fighter in the UFC history, Ronda smokes everybody by a long shot. This is the way she wanted it. The only thing she cares about right now is focusing on winning, She has done a lot of things for us. This is what she wanted and we gave it to her.
And that, to him, she is in excellent shape:
She is great. She is ready to roll, she is ready to fight, and it is all good. Everybody knows that Ronda is psychotically competitive. She is as good as I have ever seen her. She is in amazing shape, she is in great spirits. She is fired up. She is like the old Ronda again. She just had to deal with this thing the way she wanted to deal with it…all the greats throughout history, they’ve all lost. Muhammad Ali lost, Mike Tyson lost, you go through the list of all the greatest fighters who have ever lived, everybody has a loss. It is always interesting and exciting to see if they can overcome and come back from a devastating loss, like her’s was.
White says he doesn’t want McGregor to fight a “trilogy” fight with Diaz.
The problem with the rubber match is Diaz is a 170-pounder. He’s a massive guy. Conor is a very talented guy, he’s very, very good. Every time he goes out there he looks better… [But] we should have never done it in the first place. That’s what weight classes are for. They wanted to do it, we did it. They wanted to do it again, we did it again. They’re 1-1. There’s only so many of those wars you can be in in your career. It takes a lot out of you. Some guys go into wars like that and they’re never the same after it. Look at Meldrick Taylor when he fought Julio Cesar Chavez. He was never the same after that fight. We’ve had those type of fights too. I believe that Rory MacDonald was never the same after the Robbie Lawler fight. That fight ruined him. I don’t want to do that to someone special like Conor McGregor. It’s just not right.
White comments on Mayweather’s recent videos criticizing and calling out McGregor.
Floyd’s about this tall (points towards the ground), his hands are like peanut brittle, he has to wrap them a million times so he doesn’t break his hands. Floyd better hope he don’t run into Conor on the street. Let me tell you what, not only will Conor kick his ass, he’ll kick the (expletive) out of everyone of his security guards, too. I would love to be there when Floyd tries to slap Conor McGregor. I promise you, Floyd, you will never try to walk up and slap Conor McGregor and you know it, too…Let me tell you what, that fight will happen before Floyd walks up and tries to slap Conor, I promise you that, too. He’ll kick his head to another planet and then he’ll murder every one of his security guards…I don’t take away from what Floyd’s accomplished in boxing, but he’s stepping way over thinking he’s going to slap Conor. It’s hilarious.
White says McGregor and Nurmagomedov could be the next lightweight fight. Currently, Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are in discussions to fight for the interim lightweight title in McGregor’s absence, but nothing is official yet.
We’re focused very heavily on Russia right now. First of all, there’s tons of talent coming out of Russia, and a lot of fans. There’s a fighter named Khabib who’s from Russia, and he’s insanely popular. The next fight could be Conor vs. Khabib.
White says McGregor could receive equity from the UFC, but thinks the Irishman should simply buy his own.
I think anything is possible. A lot of people bought into equity. Conor’s got enough money to buy a piece. If Conor really wants to come in, come on in. A lot of people put their money up and bought in.
White says McGregor is underrated as a pound-for-pound fighter.
Conor is a very talented fighter, he’s very, very good. Every time he goes out there, he looks better. And when you talk about the pound-for-pound, they don’t have Conor McGregor as the pound-for-pound. The media does the ratings. When you talk about what the pound-for-pound really means, how is it not Conor McGregor? The guy was the ’45-pound champion, ’55-pound champion, and beat a guy at 170. That’s what pound-for-pound really means.
White says McGregor and Mayweather will not fight.
Well there’s a lot of talk going on about this now. But let’s look at it this way. If they really fought, it would be ugly. It would be ugly for Floyd. Conor has more weapons and tools than Floyd Mayweather does…If they were to box, look at Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather. It was a fight that everyone wanted to see for years. It took almost 10 years to make that fight and they are the same sport. There’s no way this fight would ever happen.
Rousey says that White originally wanted her to headline at UFC 205, but that McGregor headlining that fight allowed her to have a break and to focus on the upcoming fight with Amanda Nunes.
Conor gave me the chance to rest, he took the weight off my shoulders, and for that I’m grateful. I will never put my body at risk for money and views ever again. What makes me happy is winning and being the best in the world and that’s it. Fuck all the promotion and energy spent on anything that’s not me winning. And anyone who tries to tell me I owe them energy on frivolous shit during camp out of ‘loyalty’ or ‘friendship’ deserves no loyalty from me and is no friend of mine. This is not a time for fucking favors. This is a time for redemption and revenge.
White confirms McGregor will appear on Game of Thrones (4:30 in video):
I knew that a few months ago that they were interested in putting him in the show. And I’m glad he did it. It’ll be great. I’m excited for him.
White recounts a meeting with 50 Cent in New York:
I was at dinner in New York for 205, and we bumped into each other…When we were leaving he said to me, ‘When’s your boy going to fight Floyd?” and I said “My boy? Who are you talking about, Conor? Floyd doesn’t want to fight Conor.’ And he said, ‘He does. He’s dead serious about it.’ And I said, ‘I don’t know man. Call Floyd and see what’s going on’. So that’s how the whole thing got started up again…Look how long it took [Mayweather-Pacquiao] to get that done and they’re both in the same sport. I highly doubt this fight will ever happen.
White says Rousey is in great condition:
Yeah. It is exciting. Obviously, the return of Ronda is a big deal. She is taken this thing so seriously. Guess what she is weighing right now? 135 lbs. She is doing everything she can to keep her weight on. She is in sick shape.
UFC President White says McGregor gave up his featherweight belt, and will not fight for ten months.
I didn’t strip him of anything. I said every day leading up to that fight that he had to give up one of those belts. He gave up the 145-pound title, but it doesn’t take away from — He says that he’s still a two-weight champion. Damn right he is. He is a two-weight champion. It doesn’t take away from what that guy accomplished and what he’s done. When you look at the 145-pound title, he didn’t lose it. He gave it up. He was never beaten, and the belt was never taken from him…That (featherweight) belt hadn’t been defended in almost a year, and Conor’s taking another ten months off for maternity. It’s not fair to the rest of the guys in that division. You can’t tie up the entire division, but I did let him fight for it. I let him do it.
White says that, despite no longer having the title and Jose Aldo currently holding the title, McGregor is still the man to beat at 145lb.
I didn’t strip him of anything you know what I mean? I said everyday leading up to that fight at UFC 205, that McGregor had to give up one of the belts if he won the lightweight title in New York but that doesn’t take away from anything. He says he is still a two-weight world champion and he’s damn right he is. He is a two-weight world champion. It doesn’t take away from anything that he achieved and when it comes to the featherweight title, he didn’t lose it, he is the man at 145-pounds.
White says that, despite getting a boxing license, McGregor is still under contract to UFC.
I have no idea what Conor is doing. Conor’s Conor. He does his thing. But he’s under contract to me. Who knows with this guy? Who knows what he is up to. I just let Conor be Conor. And the other thing is, it’s fun to talk about this fight and what might happen, but what commission would let that fight happen? Really, think about that.
White says McGregor decided to give up the featherweight title of his own volition before Aldo was named the division’s undisputed champion.
Look, I let Conor fight [Nate] Diaz and then I let him fight Diaz again. Then there was the whole 155-pound thing I let him do. But at the end of the day, him doing that tied up the division for a year. There’s a logjam there and a lot of guys were [angry]…I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time. So I looked at it and I said, Well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready, barring any crazy injuries, the winner can fight him.
In a trailer for The Thrill and the Agony, Nurmagomedov tells Johnson to give up while he is giving him a beating:
You have to give up. I need to fight for the title. You know this. I deserve it
Then he trash talks McGregor to White between rounds.
KH: Hey, be careful. I’m gonna smash your boy.
DW: Just get through this first
Nurmagomedov tells White he will leave the UFC is he does not get a title shot.
White says that McGregor deserves Mayweather’s respect.
Conor McGregor … if he touches you, you go to sleep. Floyd puts people to sleep too, with his fighting style, not with his hands. You know how Floyd knocks people out? When they’re not looking. Watch the Victor Ortiz fight. This kid’s just getting started. This kid’s 28 years old. Floyd can say what he wants about Conor, but even other fighters have to respect him. He’s special. Floyd’s never even come close to doing to other fighters what Conor does.
White says Trump told him he would attend UFC 205 if he won the election.
Donald originally told me he that would come to the fight, if he won. I don’t think Donald really realised what his duties were going to be had he won. I think he’s meeting with Obama today and then I don’t know. We’ll see, man. Listen, no pressure to come … but it wouldn’t suck if he came.
He also says the family contacted him after the win.
His family reached out to me that night. I was in my hotel room, you know, watching the results, and they had, they had me come down to the (victory) party. So i went to the party, that night and, they’ve been very good to me, so good luck to him.
White says Rousey has informed him of her retirement intentions as she plans to commit full time to acting.
I don’t wanna take the wind out of her sails. Let her say her own stuff but obviously I know what’s going on with her. But ya, it’s winding down for Ronda. Listen, Ronda Rousey’s made a lot of money. She accomplished what she set out to do… And she loves acting, she’s good at it and, if she dedicates herself she’ll be even better at it.
White says that, despite McGregor being sometimes difficult to work with, he respects the fighter.
He’s a little tough to deal with, but he’s worth it. The thing is all the other antics and everything aside, Conor McGregor will step up and fight anybody, anywhere, any time. I’ve never been in a situation where somebody pulls out the week before a fight and he literally does not care who he fights. Never been in that situation.
White says McGregor will have to give up one of his belts if he beats Eddie Alvarez in UFC 205.
If he wins, he’ll hold two belts. Then he’ll decide which one he wants to give back to me. He can’t hold both. He’ll have accomplished this. Then he’ll have to figure out which one he wants to give up. He can’t hold up two divisions.
White says he supports McGregor after the Irishman was fined $150,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
If you threw a water bottle and got fined a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, would you fight there again? That guy could fight on an island off the coast of Peru and sell tickets. Las Vegas needs him, he doesn’t need Las Vegas…A hundred and fifty thousand dollars for a water bottle? That’s crazy.
White says McGregor never wants to fight in Las Vegas again.
Conor McGregor hit me and said, ‘I don’t ever want to fight in Nevada again. Ever.’ Now how does that make sense for the state of Nevada? That you’re gonna try fine this kid and Nate that much money. It just makes people not wanna come fight in our state. And that’s not a good thing. And, guess what? Conor McGregor doesn’t need Nevada. He can fight anywhere. He could fight in Iowa. We could put his fight on an island off the coast of anywhere. It just makes no sense for the state. It’s just terrible.
White announces that Rousey and Nunes will fight for the 135 pounds title in UFC 207 on December 30th.
After White says that he never thought that there would be a McGregor-Mayweather fight:
They seem to want the money, probably! But I don’t know how bad they actually want to make that a reality…I never thought it was gonna happen. Two totally different sports… Conor’s under contract with me. We can start with kicks, punches and elbows…[Mayweather] doesn’t have to learn to do anything, but he’s going to get kicked and elbowed.
It’s easy for another guy to speak when he’s not in there, in a contact sport. It’s easy to get a tonne of money off these UFC guys while they’re not really getting paid and he’s living better than them. There’s a difference. They can say, ‘ah Floyd, he’s living better than all his fighters.’ Well, guess what, I was a fighter myself so I’ve put in the work on both sides.’
White says Rousey is the biggest draw in UFC. Part of White’s reasoning comes from her fight against Bethe Correia in 2015 when she received a raucous reception from the home crowd despite facing a native Brazilian.
[She’s the biggest] by far. Not even close, by far the biggest star ever. Ronda Rousey is such a big star that when you go down to Brazil, I don’t know if you guys have watched any of the fights we do from Brazil — they don’t care who you are. They want the Brazilian to whoop your ass. When Ronda went down there, they cheered for Ronda over the Brazilian. Never seen that before in my life and will probably never see it again. That’s how big Ronda Rousey is.
White says there is a deeper reason to giving McGregor the fight against Alvarez.
Listen, I battled this thing forever. Not only is it not fair to Jose Aldo, it’s not fair to Khabib and Max Holloway. So, believe me, I battled with this thing but there are… how can I say this? There are other circumstances involved in this that will be played out after the fight. It’s something completely out of left field but it’s Conor’s business, it’s not mine, and I’ll let Conor announce it when he’s ready to.
Aldo’s coach says that the fighter’s stance is not a bluff.
In my mind, from the conversations we had, he no longer wants to fight for the UFC. I’m traveling today. Hopefully, I’ll have a meeting with the matchmakers. I believe Dana will be at this event, so we can sit down and figure out the best way to terminate the contract…Yesterday we talked and he said he doesn’t want anything, not even millions of dollar proposals. In his head, he wants out…We’d talked about (this decision), because he’d already said, ‘If they screw me over this time, I’ll stop fighting for the UFC.’ And we believed it wouldn’t happen – also because of Dana’s statements…We thought, ‘If he’s going to fight in the upper division, we’ll keep the belt and fight either (Max) Holloway or (Anthony) Pettis. If he takes the rematch against us, I’ll fight him directly, all good, problem solved.
White says that if McGregor defeats Alvarez for the Lightweight Championship at UFC 205 in New York, he will have to relinquish one of his titles before moving forward.
He wants to try to gain both belts and he will give up one of the titles after that fight in New York…He’s got some stuff going on right now, some personal stuff that I’m sure he’ll announce when he’s ready. But this fight made sense.
White says that he has no intention of letting Aldo go.
We won’t cancel his contract. We know he got very emotional. We respect Jose Aldo very much. We care for the people around him…Khabib Nurmagomedov wanted a fight on the card and we got it for him. I’m sure we can find something nice for Aldo as well.
After White tells Combate TV that he will try to fix Aldo’s resignation from UFC, Aldo calls the station to say he wants the UFC President to leave him alone, and that he not only wishes to be released from the UFC, he wants to retire from MMA permanently.
Not even fight MMA, too. It has reached a limit now. I talked to ‘Dede’ a long time ago and he convinced me to continue. I went to the Frankie Edgar fight and won. I fought to win for ‘Dede’. I’m not angry or upset now, nothing. I never fought for money, I had a good career and legacy as featherweight champion. If [Dana] likes me and my family, I just hope he releases me. I don’t want a fight. I want to leave as I came in. The UFC and WEC didn’t give me anything. Everything I conquered was my merit and from my team. Nobody gave me anything. I conquered everything. And I gave them a lot more than they gave me back. I just want them to release me from my contract. I’m not a whore to sell myself [for money]. I don’t even want to fight MMA. I want to follow a career in another sport. That’s what I want.
Diaz responds to White’s comments that he fought McGregor at 190 pounds:
Fuck them both. You know both those little bitches are afraid to fight me. That’s why they are fighting each other…And tell Dana I said get off Conor’s nuts. I left my room to that fight at 176 (pounds), so when I fought, I was probably 173. Quit telling people I was a monster to make him look good. I’ve been a lightweight my whole career…Eddie said I was next after Gilbert, then I called him a bitch in the lobby and he turned the fight down repeatedly until I beat Conor. Then he called every day asking for the fight. Bitch. What kinda fighters are these guys?
White says that Diaz was far heavier than measured at the weigh-in. Diaz weighed in at 170.5lbs on the day preceding UFC 202 and McGregor was 168 pounds.
The night of the fight Diaz comes in at 190 pounds. Now, Conor McGregor is [145-pound to 155-pound] guy and if you look at the wars he’s had with Diaz – you can only have so many of those wars in your career man. And it just doesn’t make sense. That’s why we have weight classes. It ended up being an amazing fight but you don’t want to keep doing that.
White says he plans to have Alvarez defend his belt against Nurmagomedov, and McGregor to defend his belt against Aldo. Nurmagomedov says he has signed two contracts to fight Alvarez: one for UFC 205 in New York in November and another to fight him at UFC 206 in Toronto in December. However, Alvarez wants to fight McGregor, and McGregor appears to want to fight Alvarez. Reports of a McGregor injury affecting the fight are dismissed by White:
Conor’s foot is hurt, but he thinks he can fight. I want him to fight Aldo.
Alvarez wants to fight McGregor, because it’s an easy fight and it’s a lot of money to fight him. But he has to fight me. Dana White has told me, ‘He is fighting you. He has to fight you.’ His record is only 2-1 in the UFC and he loses like a chicken to Cowboy [Cerrone]. How did he even get a title shot? I don’t know why he is so scared to fight me…I would have to be careful in the first [round] because he does punch hard. In the second, I would start to catch him and in the third, I’d finish him. Mentally, he’s already lost to me…All I want is 25 minutes in the cage with Alvarez…Put me in a cage somewhere with him and lock the door. Then I can show the world who the best really is.
McGregor leaves a cryptic message after White denies that his next fight will be with Alvarez.
In response to a fan question on Twitter, White says UFC 205 will feature Alvarez vs Nurmagomedov, not McGregor. No official statement has been released by White or the UFC regarding McGregor or Aldo’s next fight as of yet.
When asked whether a third fight between McGregor and Nate Diaz was likely to happen, White says:
I made that fight twice. That’s it. It’s time to move on because (McGregor) has the 145-pound title. At the end of the day, he’s a 145-pound fighter. He could go to (lightweight), but going back up to 170 makes absolutely no sense, and it clogs up the entire division, which isn’t fair to the rest of the crew.
White says that McGregor will not be stripped of his 145-pound belt.
He’s not gonna get stripped. He’s gonna make a decision. He knows that the Nate Diaz fight isn’t the fight to make right now. He has to either defend his title or give it up and decide what he wants to do next.
He also says he is satisfied with McGregor-Diaz at UFC 202:
Think about this, Pacquiao-Mayweather, the build up for that fight, everything else. That fight didn’t live up to the hype and I think, more importantly, it left a really bad taste in people’s mouths. I don’t think that was the case for Diaz-McGregor . With the amount of people that were pulled in to watch that fight, everybody left satisfied and those are the kind of fights that make you want to come back and watch again.
White says Rousey’s return will topple all UFC pay-per-view records set by McGregor, including his UFC 196 fight with Nate Diaz that raked in 1.5 million PPV buys and an estimated million-plus buys estimated for UFC 202.
I think that Ronda Rousey’s return will be the biggest pay-per-view we’ve ever done…If you had told me 15 years ago that women would be fighting in the UFC – and if you told me that women would be as technically sound as the men and the fights would be loved by millions of people all over the world and it’d be the hottest thing going on in the UFC – I would have never believed it.
White says he does not want McGregor to fight again Diaz again in a “trilogy” fight. Instead he wants McGregor to defend his title against interim champ Aldo. He says McGregor has two options — either fight Aldo or surrender his title to him — or cut weight to 155 and fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title.
The war was fun and super successful but I’m movin’ on.