Dana White is a man who has seen it all in the sport of mixed martial arts but even he was slightly taken aback after the UFC 229 press conference.
That presser was something else, eh?
Regardless of how you felt about the night’s entertainment, the fight has well and truly been sold to the general public.
After the rather glaring lack of promotion behind this fight that was becoming a worry over the last few weeks – you can’t open any social media platform today without being bombarded by presser-related news.
Dana White spoke to the media in the conference’s direct aftermath and explained how he felt about the lightweight duo’s first meeting and how Conor McGregor’s trash-talking game is above and beyond anyone else to ever do it.
“It was dark man, it was the darkest press conference I’ve ever been a part of. Conor McGregor is the master of mental warfare.
“I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again man, he’s better than anyone, even [Muhammad] Ali. I don’t like to say anyone is better than Ali, but when it comes to the mental side of this sport or any other sport, I think Conor is the best ever.”
His approach to Khabib was one that drew heavily from some solid research put in by himself and his team. Russian politics, Chechen/Dagestani relations and even the past of his manager Ali Abdelaziz were all hot topics.
Conor did clearly did his homework and this was a fact that was not lost on Dana White.
“Here’s the thing about McGregor too, he’s so good at it – he studies, he studies every little thing and he talks to people. He finds out stories in a guy’s camp.
“Look at the whole thing that he did on The Ultimate Fighter with Urijah Faber, TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt and all those guys. At one point he had Cody Garbrandt up trying to fight him. He is the master, he is the best to ever do it. Nobody does it better than Conor does.”
The question now is how much the Russian allowed the entire ordeal to affect him. On the surface, for the most part, it did seem as though Khabib was able to maintain a level of composure from start-to-finish but in brief moments, Conor’s persistence was clearly paying off.
White seemingly agrees that the reigning champion showed some cracks at times.
“Yes, you’re not human if that doesn’t affect you, it’s not possible for it not to affect you.
“Conor knows that and you know, Conor came in and did what Conor does. That’s why I say it, he’s the best ever. There’s never been anyone better and the mental warfare game than Conor McGregor.
“He’s the absolute best of all time.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena