Dana White and his number one cash cow, Conor McGregor, have reconciled after the UFC chief described a serious argument between the two that stemmed from McGregor posting private text messages between the two last year.
White has often bit his tongue talking about the Irishman’s occasional out-of-cage offenses and has been known to give him plenty of rope in some of his more infamous episodes, but the UFC president issued a sharp rebuttal from his greatest star of all time To tweet screenshots of a conversation the couple had last year while haggling over a possible fight booking.
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Shortly after McGregor’s 40-second win over Donald Cerrone last January, attention quickly turned to McGregor’s next potential opponent as part of what he described as a “season” of three fights in 2020.
Before the coronavirus set in and plunged a dagger into the heart of global sport, however, McGregor stated he wanted to fight as soon as possible, with Justin Gaethje being one of the characters who trained the Dubliner’s crosshairs on him.
McGregor would eventually sit out the remainder of the year but was criticized by fans and fighters alike for being perceived as inactive during the UFC roadshow in Abu Dhabi and elsewhere. This prompted McGregor to post a series of private messages between himself and White that described McGregor’s repeated requests for a fight.
One fighter known from McGregor was Diego Sanchez, the longest-serving athlete on the UFC list. Even his most ardent followers would say that Sanchez’s best days are behind him, while White also defied the idea of what he saw as an easy fight for McGregor.
But beyond that, White says he didn’t appreciate that his dirty laundry was aired in public.
“We were in a really bad place back then,” White told ESPN of his relationship with McGregor last year.
“I was really upset. It wasn’t because he was posting private messages. But we talked about another fighter and I like Diego Sanchez a lot and I have a lot of respect for Diego Sanchez. I take care of Diego Sanchez. So I was very upset about it.
“I spoke to Diego face to face about it. As the great person he is, [it’s] all good and then I was really, really angry with Conor. Conor, I fixed this, we talked and we did it and we are in a good place now. “
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However, part of promoting combat is doing business with people you don’t necessarily like. This is more part of the price war than most of the other major global sports – and while White says his relationship with McGregor never came true, he says business comes first.
“Everyone is in a good place for business,” he said. “Tito Ortiz fought here for years. We hated each other. He fought here for years. Business is always good, but that doesn’t mean we’re good.
“We are in a good place to do business and personally Conor and I are in a good place right now.”