UFC President Dana White Insists That Life Will Go On With Or Without Conor McGregor…
2017 was Conor McGregor’s year. He made $100 Million dollars in his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, transcending combat sports and pop culture. However, the early days of 2018 have not been so kind to “The Notorious”. Bedridden over the New Year with Australian Flu, the UFC President Dana White has now given him a warning.
Much to the frustration of most dedicated fight fans and fighters, the Irishman has yet to defend his lightweight title. McGregor did not fight in MMA throughout the entirety of last year, as his last appearance came against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016. With Tony Ferguson holding the interim title and Khabib Nurmagamedov blasting through opponents, it’s clear that it is decision time for the UFC.
McGregor has been consistently active on Twitter throughout his UFC hiatus. He has repeatedly flaunted his wealth and made it clear that he wants the organisation to make it worth his while to come back. He tweeted on January 1st:
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
In fairness to “The Notorious,” the UFC created this problem by letting him box Mayweather in the first place. That fight generated him more money than his entire previous earnings combined. It’s no wonder that he sees his value as worth more than the UFC – notorious for underpaying fighters – is willing to give him. Needless to say, White responded. He told Fox Sports Undisputed:
“If Conor McGregor fights next year, that’ll be awesome. If Conor McGregor doesn’t fight, the UFC is going to go on. I’ve been hearing this since 2003. What are you going to do when Chuck Liddell’s gone? What are you going to do when Georges St-Pierre leaves? You’re in big trouble when Anderson Silva’s gone! The list goes on and on. Ronda Rousey.,,”
White’s statement is weakened by the fact that there currently is no mainstream lstar to immediately replace McGregor. The Irishman came to prominence at the same time as Rousey. While the likes of Darren Till, Francis Ngannou, and Rose Namajunas have the potential to breakout from obscurity, there is no immediate alternative to McGregor.
Best Year In UFC History
The UFC President continued:
“Last year was the best in the company’s history. So, we’re going to keep finding new talent and putting on the best fights in the world. That’s what we’re going to continue to do, with or without anybody.”
Once again his words don’t entirely present the reality of the situation. One of the biggest income generators for the UFC this year was the McGregor/Mayweather fight, which was a joint promotion with Mayweather Promotions.
According to ESPN it generated $600 million dollars, with 4.3 million pay-per-views. When compared to the UFC’s low pay-per-view figures towards the end of the year, it is clear the UFC needs McGregor more than White is willing to say.
Created A Monster
The fact that the divisive Irishman hasn’t been stripped yet shows how desperate the UFC are for him to come back. They had no mercy for Germaine de Rendamie when she refused to fight Chris Cyborg. Despite McGregor holding out on Ferguson, they have yet to make any moves. The longer it goes on, the more ridiculous it is.
White’s statement was necessary, even if it inadvertently shows the weakness of the organisation. McGregor has all the options in the world right now. The UFC clearly don’t. They’ll be praying that Ngannou steamrolls Miocic at UFC 220 on January 20. Until another star is made, White’s words will fail to persuade the masses.