Perhaps Dana White’s plans for Conor McGregor have changed since the pair’s public falling-out in recent days.
Since Conor McGregor released a series of direct messages with Dana White last Friday, the pair have exchanged a number of digs in public which suggested that the once-close friendship had become strained.
McGregor hit back when White claimed that McGregor’s social media stunt was “one of the dirtiest things you can do” and in the days that followed, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion agreed terms with former rival Dustin Poirier for a charity mixed martial arts exhibition fight that has nothing to do with the UFC.
Prior to the relationship souring, however, it seemed that White was plotting an interesting career move for McGregor.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has revealed that White was planning to have McGregor and his Russian rival coach opposite one another on the next series of The Ultimate Fighter if Nurmagomedov came out on top in his unification clash with Justin Gaethje next month.
“Last week, Dana White called me and said ‘Ali what do you think about if Khabib wins, him and Conor will do The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN?'” Abdelaziz told TMZ.
“Khabib turned it down. He said, ‘This man is a human trash. He’s garbage. When you touch shit, you smell like shit. [Conor] hasn’t earned the fight.'”
In the past, The Ultimate Fighter has been used as a way to ramp up interest in rivalries between opposing coaches and it would have provided McGregor with a clear path to his rematch with Nurmagomedov but ‘The Eagle’ seemingly has no interest in it.
The TUF plan was likely what White was alluding to when he hinted at “fun stuff” next year for McGregor, who coached opposite Urijah Faber on TUF 22.
But with Nurmagomedov’s refusal and McGregor’s insistence that he will be returning to the boxing ring for a lucrative clash with Manny Pacquiao, it looks like the ratings for next season’s TUF won’t quite be as high as White might have hoped.