- Dana White wants to have a meeting with Conor McGregor.
- The UFC boss wants to thrash out a deal that could see McGregor return to the sport, having announced his retirement last week.
- White refuses to give McGregor an equity stake in UFC.
- But he will do all he can to book big-money rematches against Floyd Mayweather and Khabib Nurmagomedov, to give McGregor a chance at avenging his most humiliating defeats.
Conor McGregor‘s retirement could be a short-lived one, according to Dana White.
The UFC boss had previously said that the Irishman’s retirement announcement “totally makes sense,” that his whiskey business was booming, and that he was an incredibly fun athlete to watch throughout his time in the sport.
But now White appears set to lure McGregor back into UFC.He told 8 News Now, a CBS-affiliated broadcaster in Las Vegas, that he expects to meet the 30-year-old “face to face” and negotiate his comeback.
“I think that there’s some things that Conor wants and I think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably will in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get this thing figured out,” White said.
One sticking point is McGregor’s demand for an equity stake in UFC – something he pushed for in 2016, 2017, and, more recently, in 2019. But White believes a solution to this is the prospect of big-money, revenge-seeking fights.
“He’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership and if you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the league… I think there’s other ways that we can make him happy.”
One way to potentially make him happy is by coaxing Floyd Mayweather into the UFC for a cage fight rematch of the American’s comfortable 10th round boxing rules victory over McGregor in 2017, as well as a second go at Khabib Nurmagomedov –the Russian wrestler who dominated McGregor with a fourth round submission in 2018.
Both may be put to McGregor during any upcoming “face to face,” as 8 News Now reports that these match-ups are White’s dream fights for the company’s biggest star.
McGregor’s retirement statement arrived at a surprising time, as the UFC fighter will be free to fight from April 6 having served his suspension for the role he played in the post-fight brawls that marred his UFC 229 loss to Nurmagomedov last year.
Business Insider reported that it was hard to believe the news, however, as it was unlikely McGregor would retire on such a humiliating low, having suffered back-to-back losses in boxing and UFC.
The wider industry reacted similarly. The UFC bantamweight Brian Kelleher said it’s just “tactics,” the unbeaten welterweight Ben Askren said we could expect a “fight announcement within the week,” and ESPN’s MMA expert Brett Okamoto said he would not be treating it as an “official” retirement.
Only time will tell if McGregor will return to the negotiating table, but nobody will be surprised if he does.
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