The UFC president sees one big barrier preventing such a bout between Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao, aside from the preposterous nature of it to begin with.
The back-and-forth between the UFC lightweight champion and Floyd Mayweather is well documented. Along with the likes of Paulie Malignaggi and Amir Khan (which established boxer wouldn’t want to face the biggest non-boxing star in combat…), the legendary Manny Pacquiao offered to face Conor McGregor in the ring, stating:
“In boxing? In boxing [I would fight McGregor] but not in the UFC, just boxing.”
So far, so unlikely. The fledgling dialogue crumbles however when Dana White gets involved.
As chief negotiator on McGregor’s behalf for such a crossover, the UFC boss has no time for Pacman’s promoter Bob Arum, nor the patience to deal with him on a business level, as he told Yahoo Sports in a blunt statement.
“Listen, I love Manny Pacquiao. But I don’t love Bob Arum. You can tell Arum to save his money and not make any calls over here because we aren’t doing business with him,” White proclaimed.
Such a dismissive attitude comes as no surprise when one looks at the history between the two.
As MMA steadily reached prominence in 2007, White saw fit to level accusations at Arum, who as CEO of Top Rank Boxing is one of boxing’s biggest figures behind the scenes.
“He’s sucking the life out of the sport (boxing) and not putting anything back in.”
While White remains a massive fan of the sweet science, Arum doesn’t extend the same sentiment to his new competitor, likening MMA to homosexuality, and its fanbase to Donald Trump fans. Years of insults between the two have taken place, with a particularly vicious iteration of the feud occurring just last July.
“[Testing’s] probably more necessary in MMA because they appear to be unconcerned with it What the hell? As long as the tests come out after the fight, right? Everybody’s collecting money. And for some reason they can buy off lobbyists so they’re not subject to the Muhammad Ali Act like promoters are in boxing” – Arum
“Does anyone give a (expletive) about Bob Arum or what he thinks? I didn’t know he was still alive!? I remember a bitter, fat, red, alcohol-abuse-faced Arum chirping about the ‘oodles of money’ the Fertittas were going to lose on the UFC. Arum is the biggest dirtbag in all of sports.” – White
Don’t hold your breath for a Mac/Pac showdown any time soon.