Dana White has responded to recent rumors of a fight being set up between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and retired boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., calling it a “tabloid story” and “not true.” The buzz about this match-up came about with McGregor’s recent dilemma with being axed from UFC 200 and Mayweather hinting another end to his retirement from boxing.
The Sun reported the two being on the verge on agreeing to what may become the richest fight in combat sports history, with Mayweather standing to earn $144 million and Conor McGregor with $10.1 million from the superfight. However, UFC President Dana White would later laugh off this report, stating that it’s completely false.
“It’s not true; it’s just a tabloid story,” said Dana White to Yahoo Sports. “And as far as I knew, Floyd is retired and he’s been on a world-wide vacation and hasn’t even been thinking of fighting.”
While other news outlets had picked up on the British tabloid’s report on the supposedly burgeoning fight deal, the cross-sport match-up still sounds far-fetched at best. It most likely would be a violation of Conor McGregor’s current fight contract, as well as Dana White and the UFC’s interest. Also, the split of the fight purse is certainly selling the Irish fighter short.
Anderson Silva had been in a similar situation while he was still the UFC middleweight champion with a rumored superfight with former pound-for-pound boxing great Roy Jones, Jr., but Dana White and the UFC put a stop to such talk quickly and firmly.
Meanwhile, Conor McGregor had been pulled from his UFC 200 rematch with Nate Diaz after not showing up in a press conference for the event, opting to remain in Iceland to train for the fight. After what could be described as a peculiar exchange between the featherweight kingpin and the top MMA promotion, the potential headliner was announced to be scrapped by Dana White.
Perhaps his submission loss to Nate Diaz has dampened his bargaining power or he rubbed the UFC brass the wrong way too many times, but his attempts at reconciling and getting back on the anticipated July card had been continually rebuffed. In any case, when he made a surprise announcement on Twitter that he was back on the card, it was brushed off by Dana White as untrue.
Between this disciplinary action, his response to it, exchanges with Dana White, and perhaps even the whole talk with him fighting Mayweather, it doesn’t look like he’s in the UFC’s good graces and the good side of the public radar like he was prior to the Nate Diaz fight.
Meanwhile, along with Dana White, other UFC fighters and personalities have voiced their opinion (and incredulity) with the whole McGregor situation. Nonetheless, the show will go on with UFC 200 taking place on July 9.
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