White warns McGregor he faces being stripped of his UFC lightweight title if he remains out of the octagon until September.
Conor has said he’s thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen, it’s not fair to everybody else…I love Conor, I respect Conor, I love everything he’s done for this company, but the belt would have to move on.
White says McGregor’s continued absence is unfair to his division rivals and added talks are under way for interim champion Tony Ferguson to take on undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bout for the lightweight title.
You do Khabib versus Tony. We’re working on that fight now. If and when Conor comes back, he will get the first crack at the title.
At the UFC’s Las Vegas headquarters, White says McGregor may not fight again:
Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working. Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.
As for a potential fight with Tony Ferguson:
Listen, we ain’t taking any direction from Ferguson. With [McGregor], it’s not about ‘defend or vacate’. We’re working on a new deal right now. We’ve got to work out this new deal.
McGregor says he is ‘absolutely devastated’ on hearing of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, the city where he trained and fought Mayweather. Dana White says that the UFC organisation will donate $1 million to the families of the victims of the attack. McGregor posts on Instagram:
Absolutely devastated upon hearing the news in Las Vegas…a city so close to my heart.
Talk of a series decider between McGregor and Diaz that would headline UFC 219, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 30, is dismissed by White. White categorically denies the rumours of McGregor vs Diaz III being set by tweeting:
Not true AT ALL.
After Oscar De La Hoya posts a tweet criticising McGregor and Mayweather. White responds:
WTF?!? Is this guy snorting coke and drinking booze again??!?
He’s way down with that [Canelo vs. McGregor fight]. Don’t believe his bullsh*t. That guy is so full of sh*t that it’s not even funny. First of all, when this whole thing first went down [with McGregor looking to box] – Oscar De La Hoya was saying ‘oh I would love to have McGregor fight for me and do him and Canelo.’ And as soon as the deal gets made [for Mayweather-McGregor] it’s the worst fight ever made…Oscar De La Hoya is full of sh*t up to here. I still can’t believe he did that . Bob Arum is the biggest jerkoff in this sport by a hundred thousand miles. By far the biggest jerkoff in the sport. Now [De La Hoya] left Arum. Everyone will agree that Arum is just an *sshole. Now De La Hoya, who I’ve known for a long time and I like Oscar, as soon as this fight is made he turns into ‘Oscar De La Arum’ and goes crazy on the fight.
White says that boxing has snubbed MMA, and is now ready for a wake up call.
Here’s the reality: boxing has tried to snub this sport for a very long time. The people who think is going to be this one-sided whatever with Floyd Mayweather, don’t know Conor McGregor yet. The beautiful thing about this thing is that it’s the biggest combat sport [event] ever in the history of combat sports — now you’re going to meet Conor McGregor, motherf—s!…When he makes this upset — and it’ll be the biggest upset in the history of sports — he’s going to be the biggest athlete on the planet. It’s going to be awesome.
White talks about suggestions by Malignaggi that he had edited the McGregor sparring footage to make McGregor look better.
What am I Steven Spielberg! Come on! It’s footage of the actual sparring. I was there for all 12 rounds. Paulie has said some bad things about me. I felt sorry for the guy. It was a one-way beating. A lot of people were saying Conor couldn’t box. Paulie was obviously lying about everything about the sparring match, so I released it….I got no problem releasing the full tape, the problem is that Conor doesn’t want Mayweather to see everything he’s working on…It was very one-sided. it was an absolute beating. It was the right thing for Paulie Malignaggi to leave, for his health’s sake…Conor’s going to come at [Mayweather] different than anyone he’s every faced before. It’s not going to be a boxing match, it’s going to be a fight.
White says he believes in McGregor’s ability to beat Mayweather.
I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago. Everything he’s told me he’s going to do, he’s done, so if he says he’ll beat Floyd Mayweather inside four rounds, he will. I don’t think Conor underestimates him, he obviously respects him but you’ve got to remember – Floyd is 41 years old and Conor McGregor is 28 years old. He’s the bigger, stronger fighter. People aren’t giving him a chance and that’s just crazy. This is going to be a fight, and anything can happen in a fight…[8 ounce gloves] definitely benefits Conor. First of all, Floyd isn’t a big puncher, he’s not a knockout puncher. His whole game is defence, using the gloves to defend himself and smaller gloves means Conor will have more places to hit. We’ve always wanted to have smaller gloves, they didn’t want it and now all of a sudden Floyd has decided that he wants smaller gloves. So now we have a hearing with the state commission this week and hopefully that will happen. Conor isn’t concerned about Floyd’s punching power at all.
After Woodley’s UFC 214 win against Demian Maia, White says that Woodley should have put Maia away in the second round, criticises the lack of action in the fight, and then says he had taken away the Georges St-Pierre fight from Woodley and gave it to Michel Bisping.
Yup! There you go. Because I know Michael Bisping will fight. Michael Bisping will show up and actually fight.So yeah, we will give it to him. The ship turned around and fucking sailed back.
In response Woodley says he had problems with his shoulder:
My shoulder is f-cking torn. I’m upset, I didn’t say anything in the fight, because that’s not what a champion does…I don’t care so much about the fans, but when your job title is promoter, promote your fucking fighter. Promote your champion, don’t demote your champion. I threw my shoulder out in the first round and I wasn’t able to throw any damaging shots. I still stayed the course, stayed on task and stayed on point. I executed the gameplan after having to reduce my shots to straight punches. I didn’t even tell my coaches until I was getting my medicals after…So I am owed a public apology. You want to publicly scrutinize me Dana White, you need to publicly apologize to me. I’ve done nothing but good things for this sport, nothing but a good model for the organization…And if I don’t get that, I am going to start leaking some sh-t you don’t want to be out in the wind, and I am not even kidding about that. They know what I’m referring to. I am due a public apology. I better get it. I am tired of it.
Covington, who has gone 7-1 in the UFC welterweight division in which Woodley is the champion, tells White that he has “serious dirt” on Woodley which he will leak if Woodley makes good on his threat to leak damaging information.
White says that, after watching videos of McGregor boxing, that the Irishman will not beat Mayweather through standard boxing techniques.
All I’ve seen are stuff that he’s [McGregor] sent me, videos that he’s sent me. Listen he’s not a boxer, at the end of the day, Conor McGregor is not a boxer, he’s a fighter. Conor McGregor is the bigger, stronger guy and needs to hit Floyd Mayweather and needs to hurt him. I don’t see him out-pointing Floyd in a boxing match. I see him getting in, turning it into a fight and roughing Floyd up. I believe in this fight Floyd is going to fight traditionally the way that Floyd fights, the best defensive fighter ever.
White talks about the upcoming McGregor-Mayweather fight.
Conor is a madman. He’s gonna let Floyd know what he’s gonna do and how he’s gonna do it. And everyone’s been saying to me this whole time, ‘Do you think that Conor can really beat Mayweather?’. Look Pacquiao was just beaten by a schoolteacher…I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago. I told my partner, Lorenzo Fertita a long time ago, ‘I don’t know if this kid can fight, but if he can even throw a punch, he’s gonna be a huge superstar’…Last night I landed at LAX and Conor landed at the same time from Ireland. He gets off, looks like he was just fitted at Armani and says, ‘I will knock this man out in four rounds’.
White says that he will be accompanying McGregor on every stop on the press tour, and says he’s not entirely sure how the whole scene is going to play out, especially with so many unpredictable characters involved. He also says that
It’s going to be a f-cking shitshow. You know that. Absolute shitshow. So, I don’t know. It’s going to be crazy…It’s going to be a hybrid of the boxing press conferences and UFC press conferences…. I think it’s going to be more like a boxing press conference than it is our press conferences. You know how mine are. No bullshit. We walk in, and we sit down and, ‘What’s up? Who has the first question,’ and we get it rolling. I think there’s going to be a lot more bullshit in this one…I’m going to sit there with a mic, and when you ask me a question I will answer it. I’m not going to get up and give any speeches or do anything like that. I think Conor and I will come in, Conor and I will sit down, and we’ll answer questions when asked questions. I think that the rest of the people that are going to come in – I think there’s going to be a lot of people that come in and talk and have speeches.
During promotion for September’s middleweight fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, Hopkins proposes that fans get into the McGregor-Mayweather fight for free.
If you want to talk about a spectacle, a show, by all means spend $4,000-$5,000 on a ticket. Maybe they will give it to you for free and make a real statement of jealousy….Hold up, I’ve got a proposal. If this is so great and so good, and we know McGregor – I’m not his accountant but I’m pretty sure he don’t have to go out and put a sign in his hand and ask somebody to give him some money for food. And Mayweather, whose name is Money. How can your name be Money when you don’t have any? Give it to the fans free! You’re lights ain’t going to go off tomorrow. God knows they’re not going to take your car away – you’ve got 20 of them, right? So if you really want to box for the love of boxing, then I’ll tell you what to do. You want to make a big statement Dana White? Give it to them free.
However, when discussing Alvarez-Golovkin:
A fight and a boxing match of this magnitude in September, we know you have to pay for. You pay for what you get. Watch a real fight!
White posts two videos to counter those who think that Mayweather is untouchable.
White issues a warning to fans who may be fooled into thinking tickets are already on sale.
A fan told me he bought tix already. I want ALL fans to know that we have not even come up with a price for tix yet and tix ARE NOT for sale yet. Don’t get f-cked by These DIRTBALLS trying to sell tix already. When we announce tix on sale that’s when it’s real.
White posts to Twitter comparing McGregor’s betting odds agaisnt other fighters who have faced Mayweather.
People talking shit that doesn’t have a chance vs Mayweather. Oddsmakers disagree!!! Odds for Conor vs other great boxers
White says McGregor will be contractually prohibited from “going rogue” and elbowing or kicking Mayweather in their Aug. 26 boxing match. White also says there will be no MMA component to the show.
There is no way that will happen. That is absolutely in the contract, No.1. No. 2 this is a boxing match under the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. When you talk about a guy like Floyd Mayweather — the lawsuit if that ever happened…you all know how much Conor likes money. Conor would depart with a whole lot of money if that ever happened.
White says McGregor will fight Mayweather at T-Mobile Arena at 154 pounds.
We’ve been in negotiations now for a while, and to be honest with you negotiations went smooth. Floyd is surrounded by smart people and we got this thing done. The impossible deal is now done.It’ll be at the T-Mobile Centre in Vegas, it’ll be at 154-pounds, they’ll wear 10-0z gloves, it’ll be in a ring. It’s a boxing event. Mayweather Promotions will build the undercard for it. Those are pretty much the basics right now.
Jones Jr. is asked for comment on Oscar De La Hoya and Dana White’s spat over the McGregor-Mayweather fight.
You got understand and where De La Hoya comes from. You gotta understand where Dana comes from I understand both sides. It’s not a true boxing event. It’s above boxing…It’s not bad for boxing because the boxer should win. It’s only bad for boxing if the MMA guy get luck and clip the boxer. Otherwise it couldn’t possibly bad for boxing. They are boxing. This guy [McGregor] has an name in MMA, not i boxing. So it gives boxing an advantage…It’s gonna be the event that everyone wants to see.
White clarifies his position regarding Johnson’s claims of bullying.
Most of what he said was not true. He didn’t want pay-per-view. He wanted up front money. He wasn’t very confident in his abilities in selling pay-per-views. He has the lowest selling pay=per-views in the history of the UFC in the modern era. No 2: I think that a fight between him and TJ Dillashaw is something that people would be actually interested in, and could sell pay-per-views, and could make money. But he absolutely refuses to fight the guy. It’s ridiculous…We’re not marketing him? We built a TV show around him. The Ultimate Fighter was about what an incredible fighter his is. We put him on Fox many times and tried to build him. It is what it is…I’m bullying you? How do you bully the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world?..The media claims he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. I think Conor McGregor is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Conor will fight anybody, anywhere, any time. If Demetrious is the best P4P then fight TJ Dillashaw. Fight someone people actually care about.
White says that, contrary to recent reports, he is actively running the Mayweather-McGregor negotiations.
We live in a world right now where you can’t believe anything that you read. Who else would be running the Mayweather, McGregor deal than me? What does WME [Ari Emanuel’s talent agency] know about making big fights? Trust me, I’m running the Mayweather, McGregor deal. I’m the only one in it.
Johnson releases a lengthy statement in which he complains about multiple issues, including lack of promotion, from the UFC. He says White has been trying to bully him to take fights he does not want.
For years I have been a company man and kept quiet, accepting fights, doing as they asked, and always remaining humble and grateful for the opportunities provided to me through mixed martial arts. This is how I was raised through the sport. Unfortunately, UFC’s mistreatment and bullying has finally forced me to speak out…
- I agreed to their tyrannical demand to fight Ray Borg and Ray also agreed.
- UFC has refused to give me PPV points on any future flyweight bouts, and has never given me any PPV points on previous bouts. My request was fair and the matchmaker in charge of the flyweight and bantamweight division agreed.
- I gave UFC fair conditions to change the fight to TJ Dillashaw and they refused.
- Dana and Sean have told me that they have no interest in marketing me or the smaller divisions, so when they say that I will make PPV money vs. Dillashaw, they leave out the fact that I have to hit certain numbers of buys, which will not be hit if they fail in marketing me like they have in my previous fights.
- If TJ doesn’t make weight, I can’t break the record for the most consecutive title defenses and they have denied paying me in that circumstance.
- Dana has made an effort to bully me in the media as well as in private, in order to get what he wants, even though it is not what is best for me or the sport.
- If Dana says this will be a big PPV fight for me, and that they will promote it properly, then he can pay for it up front and explain to Ray Borg why he is being taken out of the fight that the UFC matchmaker in charge of the division put him in. Otherwise, it is just another lie and attempt to bully me to do something that Dana wants, but is not the right thing to do for the sport or my career.
- UFC’s track record in making an effort to promote my fights, and Dana’s claim that this is a big chance for PPV dollars for me tells a different story than what Dana is stating to the public.
White says a 50-50 purse split for the proposed boxing match between McGregor and Mayweather would be fair. He also says that there is a 75% chance of the deal being made, and that the fight could produce somewhere between 2.5 and 4 million pay-per-view purchases.By comparison, Mayweather-Pacquiao was split 60-40 in Mayweather’s favour and totaled a record $500 million in pay-per-view purchases and was viewed by 4.4 million households. White:
We haven’t even got there yet. We haven’t even talked percentages yet. … Floyd can think whatever, but the machine that the UFC has and Conor McGregor alone is a machine by himself. I think that 50-50 is pretty fair. I’m very bullish on this fight. I think it happens. These guys are gonna have to come up with something way out of left field for this fight not to happen.
White expands on his earlier post questioning Oscar De La Hoya’s motivations.
I’m saying ‘What the f-ck, Oscar?’ Listen Oscar De La Hoya and I have had a good relationship through time. I’ve been supportive of every event that he does. Bob Arum and I don’t get along. If Bob Arum and I had the two last fighters on earth I wouldn’t make a fight with that scumbag. What is [Oscar] doing. Why would you say something like that? It makes him sound as though he has no confidence whatsoever in Triple G versus Canelo, which I have said publicly is a good fight..He seems completely insecure…And talk about two-faced and contradicting and the list goes on and on..hating…Oscar, what the f-ck is going on with you? Are you nuts? Are you out of your mind? Have you lost your f-cking mind?
Asked about McGregor-Mayweather:
We’re moving. I’m confident that this thing can get done. Obviously, there’s still some hurdles. It’s a crazy deal to make. Here’s the other thing: Any time people come out and say this fight shouldn’t happen, or this fight is ridiculous. When two people get in there, with the punching power of a Conor McGregor and the fighting style of a Floyd Mayweather, who knows what the hell’s gonna happen? Am I saying that this is going to be the greatest fight in the history of the world? Hell, no. I have no idea. This could be one of those fights where the press conference is a thousand times better than the fight…but nobody can judge a fight until a fight is over.
White says that after Ferguson refused a catchweight fight against No.6 ranked lightweight Michael Johnson because it was not for a title and for a lower purse, he received a text from McGregor.
You know this shit that went on with Tony Ferguson and Khabib, right? Conor text me and said, ‘I can’t believe you’re going to f-cking pay that bum Tony Ferguson one dollar. You shouldn’t pay that guy one f-cking dime.’ He goes, ‘He was there, made weight and you lined up a fight for him – after Khabib fell out – you lined up a fight with Michael Johnson and he turned it down. F-cking bum. You shouldn’t pay him a dime’.
During an interview with Snoop Dogg, White says that McGregor may not come back to MMA after fighting Mayweather.
Conor could make $75 million (£57.5 million) [but] how do you come back [to UFC] and fight [for] $10 million (£7.6 million)? You have to be hungry and you may not be hungry with $75 million in the bank, but he is hungry for Mayweather and hungry to prove people wrong.
White says that McGregor will make a lot of money from the Mayweather fight.
He’s gonna make a couple of bucks. He’s gonna do alright. If this fight even happens, Conor’s gonna make a lot of money. Who doesn’t think that Conor is a global star? I think Conor is bigger than Pacquiao…It’s going to be a typical boxing match where it’s all about the main event…This won’t be a UFC event, it’ll be a boxing event…Conor’s ready to fight…Win, lose or draw the Mayweather fight, he will fight again before the end of the year.
Mayweather says that he has received no word from Dan White about a McGregor fight, and that he is waiting to talk.
It’s only one fight I think that makes business sense. I came out of retirement because I’m a businessman. I want to give the world what they want to see…McGregor’s a fighter, I’m a fighter, and that’s what the people want to see…I think we can break me and Pacquiao’s number…I’m not here to throw anyone under the bus. I’m a true professional. I can’t say they are waiting on us, and we’re not waiting on them. As soon as his side communicate with my side then the fight will happen…Once my team come to me and say Floyd it’s a go, it’s a go.
The UFC President says he has agreed in principle with McGregor on all the details about the Mayweather fight. White says they just need to put pen to paper, and expect it to be done on Sunday 14 May.
[Conor and I] are not meeting. We’re right there to get this deal done. I would like to get it done this Sunday, and start negotiating with team Mayweather. I think we’re there. Conor and I have agreed on a deal. Then you get a bunch of lawyers involved, and it [could get] stupid. As soon as this is done, we go to work. It will be me and [Al] Haymon, in Vegas or LA…If that deal can get done, then we’ll get it done. If we can’t, I’ll need to move on. It’s either going to happen this year, or it’s never going to happen at all. This isn’t something that I’m going to spend a bunch of time on, or I’m going to dedicate the next three months of my life to. Conor wants to fight twice this year. He feels the same way. He wants one of those fights to be Floyd, if possible.
With Dillashaw believing that Garbrandt has pulled out of his UFC 213 bout, White confirms that he is looking to fight Johnson at 215 pounds.
TJ Dillashaw called me this morning. And said ‘if Cody can’t fight, what I would love to do is stop Demetrious Johnson from breaking the record’. So that’s fun. Right? And there’s something Anderson Silva might appreciate.
White says he is setting Sunday 14th May as the deadline to get McGregor’s part of the deal for the Mayweather fight, or he will walk away.
I plan on having this thing locked up by this Sunday and then moving on to Team Mayweather and starting a negotiation with them. If we really do get it done in that time frame, then this thing could possibly happen. But again, I still need to go negotiate with [Floyd Mayweather’s team]. There’s no guarantee that we’re going to come to a deal…I just can’t keep messing with this thing. I need to run my business and I have to focus on all the other things that are going on around here.
While making an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, White confirms he had September 16th in mind for McGregor and Mayweather. However, he wasn’t able to get the deal done in time.
The reason they got my date is because I couldn’t get my deal done on time, so they got the date. Listen, life moves on, man. We don’t wait for anybody. If the fights are going to keep rolling – you know, I didn’t get the deal done fast enough so I lose the date. That’s how it works.
He also says he may walk away from the deal.
I’m not hinting that it’s getting close at all. I knew that this thing was going to be a nightmare to get done, if it can even be done. We’ll find out. Obviously, both guys want to fight each other, but what’s the deal? Can the deal be done? That’s the question. It’s not just Mayweather. It’s both sides of this thing are going to be hard to get done. And absolutely, there’s going to be a point where I’m done. This isn’t what I do, this isn’t my business and I’m definitely going to walk away.
White says that, despite uncertainties about the Mayweather fight date, McGregor wants to fight twice in 2017.
Conor wants to fight. Conor wants to fight Floyd, Conor wants to fight twice this year, so we’ll just have to see how this thing plays out…Obviously I was expecting him to fight this summer. That is not the case so we’ll see what happens. I know he recently came out and said he’d like to fight in November. I like Georges St-Pierre, he’s a great guy… we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.
White says the proposed date for the Mayweather-McGregor fight has been lost to Canelo vs Golovkin. The fight will take place on September 16.
We just lost our date to Canelo and Triple G.
White says he is working on the Mayweather-McGregor fight.
Still working on it. We are not close…To get a deal like this done, this doesn’t happen in a couple months. It’s gonna be a tough deal to get done, if it gets done at all…I guaranteed that I would try my hardest.
White also responds to Mayweather’s comment that McGregor could beat him.
I’ve never heard Floyd talk like that! Anybody knows a fight is a fight. Anything can happen in a fight especially when you have a guy who hits as hard as Conor does, and when you have a guy who is as talented as Floyd.
In an interview with Olivi, White praises McGregor.
At press conferences and doing media he’s great at it. He’s the best. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in the sport ever – other than Ali – who is so entertaining, can take a press conference and turn it into a must-see. His timing is perfect. He’s witty, he’s smart, he’s hilarious. But that’s what happens when you’re a superstar. That’s the difference between superstars and not superstars…When you sit down and you listen to him and he’s joking…he’s a very contagious person…Do I give Conor a little more leash than I give some other people? Absolutely. Because Conor steps up, he fights, puts all of his chips on the table. He’s one of a kind. Conor’s awesome.
White talks about the negotiations for the fight between McGregor and Mayweather.
It depends on how much the fight sells. If the fight sells as well as I think it can, Floyd makes a little north of $100 [million] and Conor makes $75 [million]. [Mayweather] feels like he’s the ‘A’ side and he should get more of it. We really haven’t got into that negotiation yet. I wanted to get McGregor locked in first because McGregor is under contract with me. At the end of the day does this fight make a ton of sense for me? It really doesn’t but Conor wants this thing really bad and I’ve said this many times, kid’s stepped up and saved some big fights for me. I’m in, I’ll figure it out…I don’t think Floyd will personally be there himself. Whether he’s there or not there, it’s all the same thing. He’s going to hear what we’re looking for…There’s no doubt people want to see this fight. It’s all anybody ever asks me about. I’m going to do my best to see if I can get this thing done. I’m not saying I can, but we’re trying to.
White says a fight between McGregor and Johnson is unlikely, but possible.
Conor McGregor has got a long line of people waiting on him…Umm, no. I don’t see that [the fight will happen]…Listen, I didn’t think that Nate Diaz was going to fight either. Anything is possible. We’ll see.
At the UFC 210 post-fight media scrum, White says he is not expecting Rousey to return to the UFC.
Ronda and I talk maybe once a week, once every two weeks. She has not said anything to me about a comeback…If I had to guess, I would guess that she would not come back.
At the UFC 210 after-fight press conference, White criticizes Jeff Mayweather’s and Bob Arum’s claim that the UFC would take a high percentage of McGregor’s purse.
What I would like to clarify is all the bullshit about the 80 f-cking 20 split. Jeff Mayweather? Come on, Jeff. Me and Jeff go way back. Jeff, are you the spokesman now for f-cking Team Mayweather? And Bob Arum? You piece of shit. F-ck you, too. What do they know about this fight? You want to know what they know about this fight? Nothing. Believe me, we’ve had preliminary talks with Conor and I’m in a good place with Conor and we’re going to meet in New York when he has his baby.
White says the Mayweather-McGregor fight will happen in 2017.
I think you will [see it before the end of 2017]. Conor McGregor is having a baby right now. After his girlfriend delivers her baby, we will start working on this deal. I think we are actually there [in terms of the financial details]. I think we are in a good place. I just need to get together with him and finalize some stuff and then it’s on to Mayweather.
When asked if there is a risk to McGregor:
Absolutely and I think you have to look at it for instance, [seven] years ago, James Toney came into the UFC and fought and he got completely embarrassed in a minute and a half in another sport [against Randy Couture]…[But] If you sit down and talk to Conor McGregor, he’ll make you believe he’s going to win the fight. I’m fascinated to see how this thing plays out.
White says that he is pushing back on those asking for more MMA-boxing crossover fights.
No, I don’t like the idea of opening up a bunch of different crossover fights. But you know, now this things been talked about so big it’s all everybody wants to talk about now, and my guys are saying they wanna fight that guy and other boxers saying they wanna fight this guy, no, this is going to be a one and done. That means the discussion itself can be refocused on the money men, McGregor and Mayweather, a fight that as traction builds continues to garner speculation and prediction…It’s an intriguing fight, it really is intriguing…If you break the thing down — and listen, everyone has their opinions, and I’m not going to say who’s going to win or lose — Floyd’s 40-years old. Conor’s 27. Floyd has trouble with southpaws, Conor’s a southpaw. Conor has knockout power in both hands, and Floyd does not. It’s an intriguing fight.
White says he feels almost obligated to help get the McGregor-Mayweather fight organised.
This kid steps up. He’ll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. A lot of people say it, very few really mean it. Conor McGregor, I call him the unicorn. I’ve never dealt with a kid like this. So for him to have this kind of opportunity, to make this kind of money, this type of a fight that people are so interested in worldwide, I almost feel like I have to make it…It’s a fight that people do want to see. It’s intriguing and obviously it’s a fight that Conor wants because financially it’s going to be massive for him. He’s a guy that I have a lot of respect for. This guy has stepped up at times when people were at his level would never step up. I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it again — I’m the guy standing in the living room, I’m the guy on the phone when these guys are looking down the barrel of a new opponent a week before the fight and Conor McGregor doesn’t flinch.
White says that McGregor cannot fight without UFC approval.
We haven’t spoken since [McGregor’s Manchester talk]..He came out and said ‘I can do this without them [the UFC]’ and I guarantee you he can’t do it without us. What I’ve said was that I’ve always been respectful of Conor with the things he wants to do and everything else but if he wants to go down that road it will be an epic fall. And everybody knows exactly what that means. I don’t think anything else needs to be said. That’s it…There’s nothing to talk about. Conor McGregor is under contract with the UFC. He’s out on maternity leave right now and after his girl has the baby we’ll offer him another fight.
White says people should give Trump and McGregor a chance.
I do [think the McGregor-Mayweather fight will happen]. I don’t know [when]. There’s too much money involved…The great things about fights is you never know who’s gonna win…If it was guaranteed that Floyd was going to win this fight why would you pay for it. Conor’s 27, Floyd’s 40. Conor’s the bigger, stronger guy. He’s got knockout power. It’ll be an interesting fight.
I spoke at the RNC, so I was a huge supporter. Everybody needs to give him a chance. I’ve got 17 years’ experience with this guy. Always been good to me. Always been a standup guy. Give him a chance and let’s see what happens.
Diaz tweets that White is making up stories about his fight offers. He says he hasn’t been offered any fight.
This f-cker can’t stop making shit up about me and I haven’t been offered any fights except the one laughed at.
White talks about McGregor’s options.
I don’t know [when he will go back to the Octagon]. He obviously has a lot of opportunities right now. Tony Ferguson’s out there. The Floyd Mayweather thing is out there. We’ll see how this thing plays out. [Floyd Mayweather] is still a possibility. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for my business, but I’d never keep Conor from making that kind of money. [The T-Mobile booking] has nothing to do with the Floyd fight. [Conor’s next fight in the UFC is going to be for the 155 pound title]. That’s what it should be.
During an appearance on Conan, White tells O’Brien that he believes the fight between McGregor and Mayweather will go ahead.
I do think it’s gonna happen. I think it’s going to be a tough deal, because obviously [there are] a lot of egos involved in this deal and a lot of people, so that always makes it tougher. On the flip side, there’s so much money involved. I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen…It would be boxing. No kicking, no elbows, just straight-up boxing, in a boxing ring with gloves and the whole deal. A lot of things make this fight intriguing but the reality is this — anybody who has ever seen Floyd Mayweather, he’s this big (motioning at his small size). Conor McGregor is huge. He’s 27 years old, he’s in the prime of his career. Floyd is 40. Floyd always had problems with southpaws, Conor is a southpaw and Conor hits hard. When Conor hits people, they go. Floyd’s definitely not knocking him out, that’s for sure. I’m not saying that Conor would win this boxing match but it sure makes it interesting.
White says that the fight between McGregor and Mayweather has not been finalized.
[It’s] nowhere near being done. There is no target date whatsoever.