Conor McGregor keeps on trying to attach stipulations to his next UFC fight, and company President, Dana White, keeps knocking them down.
The latest attempt to maintain a shred of decision making ability for his proposed fight against Dustin Poirier to be vetoed by the boss? McGregor and Poirier had both agreed to face each other at 170 pounds rather than their more typical 155-pound division.
But according to White, that ain’t gonna happen.
“It’s 155 pounds,” White said in an interview with broadcast partner BT Sport. “I’m not putting on a frigging multimillion dollar fight at a Catchweight that means nothing. It means nothing at 170. Neither one of those two are ranked at 170 pounds, and it doesn’t do anything in the 155-pound division if either one of them win. Because they’re fighting at 170. It literally makes no sense.
“There are plenty of organizations that put on fights that make no sense,” he continued. “You can go watch those fights any weekend. It’s not what we do here.”
Dana White echoes Khabib, says Conor vs Poirier MUST happen at 155......wow.— The MMA Dude™ (@philthemmadude) October 21, 2020
This is all quite humiliating for McGregor, who desperately wanted this fight to happen at Welterweight.pic.twitter.com/TiNn6u7Qkp
Now, if you’re saying, “Wait a minute, wasn’t Conor McGregor’s last fight against Donald Cerrone at 170? And didn’t Dana White at the time that a win over ‘Cowboy’ at 170 would lead to a Conor vs. Khabib rematch?”
Yes.... Yes, he did say that.
But, that was old White, whose sport was largely surging along the tide that McGregor brought. Now, UFC is surging on a massive wave of success brought on by the ESPN deal and people being stuck at home during the pandemic getting into the sport.
Those who have been around for a while know UFC prefers it when fans are there for UFC, not individual UFC fighters. Which of course makes sense from a certain business point of view, if you ignore all the mega-stars UFC has thrown out with the bathwater trying to keep the brand as king.
However you feel about all that — and despite White denying McGregor’s demands on timeline, location, and now weight — UFC’s president thinks he’ll still get “Notorious” back in the cage for January.
“Listen, Conor likes to play games,” he said. “Conor plays games, and he does his thing. One thing Conor doesn’t do? Conor doesn’t commit to a fight and then not fight. Conor fights.”
Worth noting: no contracts have been signed for McGregor vs. Poirier on Jan. 21, 2021. What are the chances this fight still happens with UFC saying no all the way?