Dana White promises 'epic fall' for Conor McGregor should he dig in against UFC
DENVER – UFC President Dana White issued a warning to Conor McGregor while also dismissing the lightweight champion’s outburst on social media.
After McGregor said his next fight would be in a boxing ring against retired champ Floyd Mayweather, White indicated he wouldn’t abide the demand.
“I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect, and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall,” White told MMAjunkie at the post-event press conference for UFC on FOX 23 at Pepsi Center in Denver.
Asked whether he thought McGregor would travel that road, he said, “I don’t know. It’s not up to me.”
A few hours earlier, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) issued perhaps his biggest swipe at the UFC, boasting he’d outdrawn the promotion after counter-programming the FOX-televised event with a sit-down interview streamed via online pay-per-view.
On Instagram, he wrote, “I’m so made! Heading to do a Q and A in front of 5000 fans! You read that right. That’s more than UFC attendance tonight. (Expletive) the UFC. (Expletive) Floyd. (Expletive) boxing. (Expletive) the WWE. (Expletive) Hollywood. And (expletive) you too pay me.”
Although he admitted he hadn’t heard all of McGregor’s words, White’s pointed response was the most serious counter to the lightweight champ’s brash form of self-promotion, which has frequently targeted the UFC as he’s grown into one of its biggest stars. The executive didn’t entirely take the bait, however, linking McGregor’s statement to efforts to push an online product.
“I didn’t hear all that,” White said. “Hey, listen, when you’re about to do a pay-per-view that you’re charging people five bucks to listen to you talk, I’m sure you’ve got to say some pretty crazy (expletive).”
As the crazy idea of ever seeing Mayweather and McGregor in a ring, White shot that down, too.
“Here’s what I think the chances are: About the same as me being the backup quarterback for (Tom) Brady on (Super Bowl) Sunday,” he said.
White previously made headlines when he offered Mayweather and McGregor $25 million each and a cut of pay-per-view profits to step into the squared circle. Mayweather dismissed the offer outright.
Since that exchange, White said there’d been no talks with the Mayweather camp and added his offer didn’t signal a renewed interest in the bout.
“(I made an offer) because (Mayweather) was full of (expletive),” White said. “He said he had made an offer, which wasn’t true. So I made a real offer.”
Is there a chance, though, all the talk is just a prelude to a blockbuster?
“I’ll be suiting up Sunday,” White deadpanned.
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