UFC president Dana White is known for being quite a belligerent character at times, even when it comes to dealing with his biggest stars and most prized assets. Especially when they try to play hardball in negotiations.
There was no sign of that character at Thursday’s UFC 217 press conference, however, when White was asked about some recent comments made by the promotion’s biggest star, lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
Speaking from the red carpet laid out in Dublin ahead of the premiere of his new feature-length documentary, ‘The Notorious’, earlier in the week, McGregor suggested that there is no guarantee he will return to the octagon and that the UFC will have to “entice” him back into the fold.
“I want equity, I want ownership, I want to be a true partners in this – similar to the way I was in the Floyd [Mayweather Jr.] fight,” McGregor stated. “I was a promoter and I was a fighter, and that must continue for me to continue. Otherwise I’ve got other entities and many other interests than can carry on. Also, I’m already.”
White is well accustomed to hearing ambitious ideas from McGregor when negotiations are ongoing, however.
“As we go into negotiations with Conor, there is always all kinds of crazy stuff out there,” said White in response to McGregor’s comments. “We always get deals done with Conor. Conor has been easy to deal with and we’ll get it done.”
Given how poorly the UFC has performed on Pay-per-view this year compared to last year, when McGregor fought a total of three times inside the octagon, and how well the Dubliner’s aforementioned boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August performed financially, it would seem that the UFC don’t hold many premium cards in this negotiation.