White, McGregor and Diaz appear at the UFC 202 Tickets On-Sale Press Conference.
White praises McGregor’s willingness to fight any opponent.
Conor McGregor doesn’t give a shit. I’ve been doing this for 16 years – I know who says yes, who says no, and Conor says no to nothing…People say I kiss his ass and do all this other stuff for him, but I fucking respect the guy, who when you walk into his living room, he’s just waking up, eleven days before his fight, and he’s been training for a certain weight and certain opponent. I said: ‘These are the three options’. He says: ‘I’m going to train, let me know which one takes it’. I’ve dealt with very few men and women who say that.
Diaz posts video to Instagram of him slapping White, saying.
Getting deals done today.
White says that he’s still waiting on Mayweather to call him.
People hit me up and say, ‘Did you see Floyd just posted a poster of them squared off and said they’re fighting in September?’ and this and that. Listen, I don’t care what Floyd says. There’s only one way this fight’s happening (and that’s) through me. Floyd’s got to call me. Floyd and I haven’t talked. Here’s the reality: I haven’t talked to Floyd Mayweather once. If you look at how long and how hard it took to get the (Manny) Pacquaio (vs. Mayweather) fight done, that’s the same sport. I don’t know what (Mayweather’s) angle is on this thing with Conor McGregor, but he’s not fighting Conor McGregor without calling me. It’s not going to happen.
In an interview on FOX Sports 1’s The Herd, White says the UFC has begun looking at alternative opponents for McGregor’s next fight after unsuccessfully trying to reach a deal with Diaz.
It’s just madness. It’s just been tough. It’s been a tough go-through, so we’re looking at another fight for Conor right now and we’ll see how this thing comes together. But Conor is just so obsessed with Diaz at 170, it’s been crazy. The reality is that since that Conor McGregor fight — obviously when you win a fight of that magnitude, it has definitely rubbed off on Nate. People do want to see Nate fight. People do want to see this fight again, and I’m one of those guys who, I want to make the fight that people want to see, and I believe people do want to see this fight. But, people do want to see Conor McGregor vs. Frankie Edgar or Jose Aldo again too. I’m sure they would want to see him fight Rafael dos Anjos at 155 for that title, so there’s a lot of fights out there for Conor, if we can’t get this Nate fight done.
In an interview with ESPN’s Sportscenter, White says that he is working on McGregor-Diaz matchup.
We’re working on what’s next for him. We’re trying to set up a fight right now. It’s been a little challenging. Obviously the fight he would love to do is the rematch with Nate Diaz. I’m trying to get the deal done…Conor is obsessed with this rematch. I don’t know why, but he is. It’s just his type of personality. He’s obsessed with it. He’s obsessed with fighting Diaz again – at 170 pounds. I don’t know if [the fight] will ever happen, but I’m trying.
On Cowherd’s show, Schaub defends McGregor
Dana White has a tough job. He’s like the warden of Shawshank…I’m always fighter first. I voice that opinion, which sometimes gets me in trouble but as long as you’re true to yourself, you’re going to be alright. But with Conor, we’ve never had a Conor. Conor’s talking about fighting Floyd Mayweather for $50 million. Go find another guy who could do that. We don’t have him…He’s our pink elephant in a circus full of grey elephants. He’s the pink elephant. You’re going to be able to make some adjustments to that guy. Now I understand he had obligations with the press conference, stuff like that, but he sends out a tweet – his tweet when he retired, was bigger than Kobe Bryant’s retirement tweet. What are we talking about?
A meeting between White and Diaz in Stockton, CA, ends with Diaz walking out angrily. Sources say the meeting, which started friendly, was to discuss terms for Diaz vs. McGregor, and that Diaz left because he was not happy with the financial arrangement. White:
Obviously I’m not going to disclose details of the deal, but let’s just say my trip to Stockton didn’t go well.
McGregor says his meeting with White went well.
I met with Dana and Mr. Fertitta, good conversation like it always is. We have a good relationship. It is what it is. It happens. This is the fight game. Sometimes emotions get into it but it’s important to recognize that emotions have no place in business. We just set it aside. There’s no place for emotions in this. We are doing beautiful things so let’s continue. Let’s fix it and continue…I’d say [our relationship] is nice and in the middle. In a good place.
McGregor and White meet at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills. McGregor arrives in a Rolls-Royce Phantom drophead coupe and is personally greeted by White. The two men hug, and then have a two-hour private dinner.
White will meet with McGregor in Los Angeles.
[We] are having dinner with Conor McGregor. So tonight at like, 10 (p.m.), I’ll have a lot more answers on the Conor McGregor situation…[Conor] will not be on UFC 200. Not at all. That ship sailed. But we’ve put that behind us, and we’re in a good place with Conor, and we’re looking to make his next fight. We should have that done tonight.
In an interview on on the Russillo and Kannell show, White says that a McGregor-Mayweather matchup is ‘impossible’.
Let me put it to you this way. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are in the same sport. It took how long for those two to fight? Now imagine how hard it would be to get [Mayweather and McGregor] to fight. They’re not in the same sport. Is this thing going to be MMA or boxing rules? Who’s getting the lion’s share of the money? This and that. It’s impossible. But like I’ve said, ‘Floyd, you want to fight Conor, call me.’
White says that he and McGregor have made up.
Conor and I have been talking every day, we’re going to have dinner next week. Our relationship is great, and we’re going to put the little speed bump in the road that happened there behind us and move forward. So everything is great…He will not be on 200. We’re going to get together next week and see what card he’s going to be on.
White responds to a report in the UK’s Sun tabloid, which reported that McGregor and Mayweather only have to agree on the purse to fight in the summer.
McGregor-Mayweather? No. It’d be very hard to pull off. I’ve heard Floyd is on a worldwide vacation on Mayweather Air spending millions in every country he visits.
He also says McGregor cannot fight outside of UFC:
Never. We’re his promoter. We’d have to make the fight. [The report is] completely fiction, this is like bottom-feeder … stuff.
White introduces the fighters fro UFC 200. He talks about McGregor:
Listen, Conor’s going to fight again. He’s going to fight at UFC 201, 202, 203 – whatever the deal might be. We’ll see what’s next when that plays out. But (UFC) 200 is the fight everybody’s been looking to for a long time. It is what it is. The show’s going to roll on, and Conor will fight again.
Speaking to TMZ, White repeats that McGregor is not on the ticket.
All the media keeps asking me that. I feel like the scene in Step Brothers when they ask if they can build the bunk beds. I don’t know how many more times I can say the fight is off or how many more press conferences I can have saying the fight is off for people to believe it’s off.
White tells the Los Angeles Times in a text message that a deal for McGregor’s return is not true.
We haven’t talked [to] Conor or his manager since the press conference. I don’t know why he would tweet that.
White introduces the fighters for UFC 200. McGregor is not present. Diaz:
I didn’t ask for that fight, but he asked for it. And if that ain’t gonna happen, I’m going on Vacation…He’s got a lot of catching up to do, so there ain’t no time for this [media] shit. I’ve dodging all this for years, so it’s all good. Let him do his thing, get his training on, and let him fight.
Listen, I just don’t see how that’s fair. These people have come from all over the world. The fights still three months away, that’s why we do it so early so we try not to interfere with their lives. People want Conor to fight, so do the fans, so do the media, everybody..You think I don’t want Conor to fight? Of course I do. It’s not right, you can’t not show up for this stuff. [Reporter: So you’re ruling him out at this point?]. Yeah!
In an interview on The Jim Rome Show, White talks about McGregor’s retirement announcement.
We’d been going back and forth over this whole press conference and commercial thing. He’s young, he’s emotional, and I believe that’s what that was. Do I believe he’s retiring? I don’t. But if he is, I wish him well. Conor McGregor will fight again I believe. He’s a young guy, he’s a proud guy, he’s very opinionated. I think yesterday his tweet was out of frustration and not the true desire to retire…You can’t not show up to promote your fight. Especially it’s UFC 200. We’re spending like 10 million dollars in commercials and advertising and everything else, and he’s the main event, and he’s not going to be a part of it? It doesn’t work that way.
White also says reports of McGregor wanting $10 million to fight at UFC 200 are false:
That is a flat out disgusting lie. It’s a lie. Conor McGregor has never agreed to fight then come back and ask for more money. He’s never done that. He’s not like that…I’m not mad at Conor McGregor at all. I have no ill-will towards him whatsoever. Listen, he’s a big boy he made a decision not to fight at two hundred he knows what that means to him. Listen, I got three months to go and a lot of people who want to fight on it.
UFC President White says McGregor’s management asked to move the media promotions to May but that wasn’t an option. At that time, White said it was “weird”. He also says McGregor needs to clear up his status soon because if he remains retired Aldo v Edgar will be for the featherweight title. White adds that if McGregor called him today to clear the air they could figure it out UFC 200.
I’m not mad at Conor. Conor made a decision and a choice to not fight on this card. That’s on him, man…Conor delivers. But he wasn’t planning on delivering this weekend, and I had to pull him. It’s what had to be done.
UFC President White says that McGregor has been pulled from UFC 200 because he had refused to fly to Las Vegas to help promote the event. He says UFC is working on scheduling another fight for Diaz, and will add another bout to UFC 200.
What’s happened is we pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200 and we’re working on other fights right now. Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be a part of any of the marketing we have. He’s in Iceland training and that’s not possible… Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question…Obviously we still have, as far as I’m concerned, a good relationship with Conor. I respect Conor as a fighter and I like him as a person, but you can’t decide to not show up to these things. You have to do it.
UFC president White says he talked to McGregor after his defeat by Diaz.
After the fight, Lorenzo (Fertitta) and I went up to Conor’s house that he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about what are you thinking, what’s next and he was obsessed — obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again. Obviously, Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and say ‘let’s go back down to 145 an defend your title’ or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155. He wants the fight at 170. Even his coach, coach (John) Kavanagh tried to get him off this rematch and off the 170 pound fight, but it’s what he wanted…[Nate said] ‘He wants to do it again, let’s do it again’. Nate was obviously up for the fight.
White announces that, due to Cain Velazquez and Fabricio Werdum, pulling out of the main event fight due to injuries, the UFC’s upcoming event will not be a pay-per-view event, but instead will be shown on Fox Sports 1. The original co-main event, Hendricks against Thompson, will headline the upcoming fight card.
White comments on Punk’s signing with UFC and his first bout.
He wanted to fight here. He wanted to give it a shot, so we gave him an opportunity. It’s not like Brock Lesnar. We’re not going to throw the kitchen sink at him. Lesnar had a wrestling background. (CM Punk) going to fight a guy who is 1-0, 1-1, 2-1 — something like that.
White is interviewed by The Arsenio Hall Show. They talk about UFE and it’s rivalry WWE, combat sports and how about a wrestling challenge with Vince McMahon.
I think that if your a fan of WWE, your into soap operas and scripted…you know, everybody knows it’s fake. It’s like a male soap opera.
White says that despite receiving a bigger offer of $5 billion for UFC, he went with Emanuel’s lower offer of $4.2 billion, due to Emanuel’s experience.
Let me be honest with you, when we were doing this deal there were two groups that came in for more money than Ari [Emanuel]. There was one [offer] for $5 billion…There’s people who I believe add value. One of the million things I respect about the Fertitta’s, they weren’t just going to let this thing go for the money. They were going to make sure it went to somebody who could actually take it and bring it to the next level. Ari is one of these guys, he’s got huge balls, he’s very smart, and he has laid out a really great plan for the sport. The vision that Ari has for it right now, I am on board and I love it.