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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Dana White admits that Conor McGregor can be 'a little tough to deal with'

The UFC president says his featherweight champion is not just a handful inside the octagon.

Dana White keeps Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor apart at the weigh-ins ahead of their rematch at UFC 202 in August.
Dana White keeps Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor apart at the weigh-ins ahead of their rematch at UFC 202 in August.
Image: Tom Hogan/INPHO

THE UFC WAS sold earlier this year for $4billion and there can be no denying that Conor McGregor made a significant contribution to ensuring that MMA’s biggest organisation was worth such a hefty sum.

McGregor has taken the UFC by storm since he was signed in 2013, setting new records for pay-per-view sales and gate receipts en route to becoming the featherweight champion. Two weeks from today, he’ll aim to make history by clinching the lightweight belt too at the expense of reigning title-holder Eddie Alvarez.

The 28-year-old’s arrival has been a blessing to the UFC but it hasn’t all been plain sailing, as evidenced by a dispute between the two parties earlier this year which saw his rematch with Nate Diaz removed from the card for UFC 200.

The relationship between McGregor and the organisation — particularly its president Dana White — is often said to be no longer as smooth as it once was. Because of his value to the company, the Dubliner is generally allowed to play by his own rules. As a result, he can be a handful to deal with outside the octagon too.

Speaking last night on FOX Sports 1 ahead of Game 3 of the World Series, White admitted that McGregor keeps the organisation on its toes. However, he praised his most valuable asset for his willingness to welcome all challenges, despite having a track record of seeing his opponents withdraw at late notice.

Posted by on Sunday, 11 April 2021

He’s a little tough to deal with — but he’s worth it.

“All the other antics and everything aside, Conor McGregor will step up and fight anybody, anywhere, anytime,” White said. “I’ve never been in a situation where somebody pulls out the week before a fight and he literally does not care who he fights. Never been in that situation.”

Should he get the better of Alvarez at UFC 205 in New York on 12 November to become the first fighter in history to hold two UFC titles at the same time, dealing with McGregor is only likely to get even more difficult for White and WME-IMG, the organisation’s new owners.

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Paul Dollery

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