UFC president Dana White has been struggling to announce a headliner for the promotion’s big year-end event in Las Vegas. He’s also struggled to lock down a return for his top star, Conor McGregor. Coincidence?
Following Georges St-Pierre’s successful return as a middleweight at UFC 217 recently, many people shifted to a potential “money fight” between GSP and McGregor. That’s not the route that White wants to go. He is trying to entice McGregor to return to the Octagon and unify his lightweight championship with the interim version of the title that Tony Ferguson currently holds.
McGregor has frequently said that he would like to fight again in 2017. UFC 219 on Dec. 30 is the only date that makes sense for that to happen. So what’s the hold-up?
“(The UFC has) got to entice me now because I came from a billion-dollar fight, so they’ve got to entice me with something. I want equity. I want ownership. I want to be true partners in this, similar to the way I was in the Floyd fight. I was a promoter and I was a fighter,” McGregor said at the recent premiere of his new documentary, “Notorious.”
“That must continue for me to continue. Otherwise, I’ve got many entities and many other interests that I can carry on.”
That was exactly what White prognosticated when the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight came together and now what he is hinting may be the reason that McGregor’s return hasn’t been locked down for UFC 219.
“That’s what he wanted to do (fight at UFC 219),” said White when asked about McGregor’s return in a recent TMZ Sports interview. “But when you make friggin’ 80 million bucks, things change. You never know. I said that before the fight. You make that kind of money, it can change you.”
White is still focused on Ferguson as McGregor’s next opponent, while admitting that you can “never say never” on a possible St-Pierre vs. McGregor bout, but right now, he’s got to worry about simply enticing McGregor to shine his white-hot spotlight back on the Octagon.
(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)