One of the most interested spectators at Saturday’s boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is UFC president Dana White. And while the UFC’s front man admits he’s looking forward to dealing with MMA again after tumultuous weeks of boxing promoting, White can’t wait to see McGregor get in the ring and throw down with maybe the best boxer of all time.
Despite the one-sided public perception of the fight that pits 0-0 against 49-0, though, White isn’t ready to write off Conor McGregor. After all, the transcending superstar has become what he is through his promotion. That is why, despite all facts, the UFC president thinks that it wouldn’t be a good idea for the former boxing champion in five weight classes to lock horns with the UFC’s lightweight champion and try to go for the kill on Saturday.
“Either Floyd fights defensively like he does and runs from Conor and Conor has to chase him down”, White told media this week. “Or, Floyd is saying that he’s going to come after him. [But] I don’t see that happening. I think that [reaching] that 50 [on his record] is important to him and I don’t see him coming at McGregor.”
If he does and McGregor catches him – or defeats him in any other way –, White believes that the momentum of “The Notorious” will break any limits so far known to man.
“Conor McGregor is one of those guys that will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. That’s why we’re here, that’s why this is all going on. Obviously, if he wins, I think he’s going to be the biggest thing on this planet. In sports and anything else.”
Still, no matter how the fight is going to play out on Saturday, a re-run of the boxing vs. MMA formula that is one of the reasons why #MayMac is likely worth around a billion dollars or more will probably not happen anytime soon, according to White.”
“I don’t know”, White responded when asked if we could be seeing more of his fighters cross over into the ring and fight other established boxers in the future. “This fight was the perfect fight at the perfect time between the perfect guys. If there was ever another situation where the fans wanted to see a fight as bad as they wanted to see this one, then possibly.”
One fight that might at least do well at the box office would be McGregor versus his two-time sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi. But while the public feud that ensued between the two after photos of their training were leaked would likely guarantee another huge payday for everyone involved, Dana White would probably not be too intrigued by that fight.
The reason? To him, it wouldn’t be very competitive.
“I was very impressed”, White said about the sparring sessions that he witnessed between McGregor and the former two-time boxing world champion. “I didn’t know what to expect when I went in there. A lot of people are saying Paulie Malignaggi isn’t Floyd Mayweather. Yeah, I agree, but he’s a two-time world champion and Conor handled him.”
So, how about recent rumors that Malignaggi worked together with Mayweather to get into McGregor’s camp and see for himself what the UFC champion does in the gym? White doesn’t care: “Who gives a shit. Paulie Malignaggi likes attention, man. That’s for sure.”
And with all the attention that the blockbuster bout on August 26 has been getting over the past few months, White is ready to get back to his bread and butter and promote fights inside the Octagon once the spectacle is over this weekend.
“I haven’t focused on anything this week except this fight”, White said when asked about UFC-related matters. “I’ve been doing nothing but PR […]. I’m ready to get back to the UFC.”