Despite past differences in opinion, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White and Lightweight champion Conor McGregor have always had a good working relationship.
In fact, White has admitted that he gives “Notorious” plenty of leeway to say and do whatever he wants because the Irishman always steps up to fight, regardless of opponent. Unfortunately for White, not everyone is quick to accept last-minute bouts, as was the case with Tony Ferguson after he refused to face Michael Johnson on one day’s notice following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC 209 scale fail.
During a recent interview with Snoop Dogg on GGN News with Snoop Dogg, White revealed an interesting text he got from “Notorious” following the whole debacle.
“After this shit went down with Tony and Khabib, Conor texts me and says, ‘I can’t believe you’re going to fucking pay that bum Tony Ferguson one dollar. You shouldn’t pay him a fucking dime. He was there, made weight and you lined up a fight for him with Michael Johnson after Khabib fell out and didn’t make weight, and he turned it down. Fucking bum.’ That’s Conor’s mentality in that he should've taken that fight against Michael Johnson. That’s what Conor said to me and that’s one of the many things that I love about Conor McGregor. And he isn’t just talking, because I’ve stood in his living room, looking at him telling him that his opponent fell out and he doesn’t give a shit.”
Indeed, when Jose Aldo was forced out of his title fight against McGregor back at UFC 189 at the eleventh hour and ultimately replaced by Chad Mendes, “Notorious” didn’t lose a beat, accepting that last-minute switch and subsequently knocking “Money” out in round two to earn the interim Featherweight title.
Five months later, Conor went on to knock Aldo out in 13 seconds to unify the titles, earning a cool $1 million for both fights combined.
As for Tony, the reason he opted against facing “The Menace” on short notice was due to the fact the the bout wasn’t going to be for an interim title and perhaps more importantly, the price wasn’t right.
Can’t blame him for looking out for his best interests.
That said, any of you feel Ferguson — who is trying his best to score a fight against Nate Diaz — rejecting the Johnson fight ultimately hurt him in the long run?