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Dana White suggests Conor McGregor tried to steal Israel Adesanya’s thunder prior to UFC 253

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US-ENTERTAINMENT-MUSIC-GRAMMY-ARRIVALS Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

In the days before (and after) Israel Adesanya successfully defended his Middleweight title against Paulo Costa at UFC 253 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (highlights), it was Conor McGregor who was dominating the mixed martial arts (MMA) headlines.

When he wasn’t accepting Diego Sanchez’s retirement fight challenge, announcing a boxing match against Manny Pacquiao or setting up a charity bout opposite Dustin Poirier, “Notorious” was leaking private text messages with Dana White.

So when asked about McGregor’s social media outbursts, White offered up his theory to Sports Illustrated as to why he feels “Notorious” has a pattern of doing such things right before a big event.

“This was a weird one,” White said. “This was weirder and different than anything he’s done before. There’s almost a pattern here. When we’re about to do a massive fight — and Israel Adesanya broke a ton of records last week in a global, massive fight — the day before that fight, he starts announcing he’s going to fight this guy and that guy.

“It’s almost like stealing Adesanya’s thunder,” he continued. “But, he does it every time there’s a big fight.”

Then again, McGregor has always been very complimentary and supportive of Adesanya since they are stablemates at Paradigm Sports Management, so taking some shine away from him wouldn’t exactly be conducive to being a team player.

White and McGregor’s once-tight relationship seems to be on thin ice at the moment after UFC’s head honcho blasted his biggest star for breaking the “man code” over the aforementioned leaked text messages.

The outspoken boss has gone on record to say the McGregor would not compete in 2020, though recent reports suggested that UFC matchmakers have offered the Irishman a rematch against Poirier inside the Octagon.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 254: “Khabib vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.