Whenever you are the manager of a sports team, they say you shouldn’t have your favorites, but every manager does.
Every manager has the people he can really influence and in this way build a bond.
Dana White once said that Conor McGregor reminded him of UFC’s great Chuck Liddell
Sure, UFC President Dana White has approached the fighters earlier – Donald Cerrone is a favorite because he seems to want to fight constantly – but never like he did with Conor McGregor.
He received his first attention in 2013 when White received an award from Trinity College in Dublin.
“I ask everyone to meet in the pub. I pay the bill for everyone there and we have a lot of fun.”
“And [in the pub] everyone’s talking about Conor McGregor, so I’m flying the boy [to Las Vegas] and we’re going to dinner. From the second I meet this child – personality is off the charts.
“When I dropped him, I called Lorenzo [Fertitta, former UFC co-owner] and said, ‘I don’t know if this boy can fight, but if he can hit a blow at all, he’ll be a huge superstar. ‘ “
McGregor is special. This is what makes him cashier.
It wouldn’t be hard to say that if McGregor weren’t there, the UFC would probably not be where they are today. The man selected all five of the company’s highest-income cards.
But White apparently knew that “Notorious” was special when he made his UFC debut against Marcus Brimage in April 2013 after moving from Cage Warriors.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gezMzCOSClk [/ embed]
After the win in Stockholm against Brimage – where he reached the round of 16 in the first round – White greeted him behind the scenes.
“There was a lot of hype – I think the hype is real, man. People on Twitter are going crazy.
“We have a big fight in Boston – you [McGregor] want to fight in the Boston Garden? We’re going back to Ireland, we’re going to fight in Dublin so you can play Boston and Dublin.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxgu_oDGdXM [/ embed]
And White kept his promise. Over the next 15 months, McGregor fought and beat Max Holloway in Boston and Diego Brandão in Dublin, winning the latter by knockout in the first round.
In December 2015, McGregor became the UFC featherweight world champion by dethroning Jose Aldo with the fastest knockout win in a UFC championship fight. He entered the superstars stratosphere.
After just 13 months, he became the first two-time world champion in UFC history by putting Eddie Alvarez’s lightweight title on the featherweight belt.
Conor McGregor was the first fighter in UFC history to have two titles at the same time
As expected, everything was rosy. McGregor made a lot of money for the company, which finally had a superstar who went beyond sports.
However, there was friction in the relationship, which was first reported when McGregor dropped his featherweight title almost as soon as he won the lightweight belt in 2016.
Nothing had changed, White insisted. “There are a lot of people playing out this relationship between me and Conor,” he said.
“I have a great relationship with Conor.
“I mean, could I maybe talk more respectfully about him? And it’s not that Conor needs more encouragement about how awesome he and everything else is – but it’s what it is. I call it what it is.
“Conor McGregor is special,” he added.
“He can’t just talk, he goes out and supports it, you know? His press conferences are great, it’s fun to see.
“The considerations are incredible and he always delivers on the evening of the fight. And he’s really a guy who competes against everyone in every place and at all times. “
And why shouldn’t he like him, considering that the crossover fight that McGregor and Floyd Mayweather hosted in 2017 brought in advertising and money – McGregor alone is said to have made almost $ 100 million.
But when he focused on MMA again, he angered many fans – and angered White – with his actions at the 2018 UFC 223 Media Day.
When the Irishman threw a dolly against a coach window, he injured some fighters and forced them to withdraw from the April show.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za0qXbofvc0 [/ embed]
McGregor had tried to get hold of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who slapped his teammate Artem Lobov, but it was a very, very bad impression for UFC.
White seemed calmer after the event when Khabib defeated Al Iaquinta.
“We talked. That’s good,” he said at the press conference after the fight. “I think there is mutual respect between us and obviously I had thrown so many things at myself this week. Focusing on this show was insane. We will go back and focus on Conor McGregor. “
McGregor and Khabib then met at UFC 229 in October, which the Irishman lost despite claiming to have made $ 50 million from it.
After his defeat, he announced that he would withdraw from the competition. He allegedly did this to force UFC’s hand to give him shares in the company.
White could not have been less intimidated and simply wished all the best for his golden goose.
“He has the money to retire and his whiskey kills it,” he said.
“It makes total sense. If I were him, I would retire too. He withdraws from fighting, not from work. The whiskey will keep him busy, and I’m sure he has other things he’s working on.
Dana White is constantly asked about Conor McGregor
“It was so fun to see him. He has achieved incredible things in this sport. I am so happy for him and I look forward to seeing him as successfully outside of the octagon as he was. “
Things change quickly and White knew the UFC would be fine without him. McGregor is now keen to start again.
With the headliner UFC 246 against Cowboy Cerrone in Las Vegas, he returns to 2020.
“Conor is one of those who have this incredible personality and the” it “factor that makes him a big star,” White said.
“But most importantly, the boy comes in and has incredibly exciting fights.
“He has people on both sides – people who hate him and people who love him – but everyone is looking forward to seeing him again.”
The boss has proven that McGregor is no bigger than the UFC, but that does not mean that he does not know that he is damn better off with him.