UFC president Dana White often refers to former two-division champion Conor McGregor as a “unicorn” and that kind of distinction comes with special privileges.
Take for instance the altercation earlier this year when McGregor stormed through the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, smashed a moving dolly through a window, and injured two fighters and a UFC employee.
At the time, White called the incident the “most disgusting” thing he’s ever witnessed, but ultimately, McGregor faced no recourse from the UFC. Instead, White opted to let the legal system handle McGregor and he eventually pleaded down to a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct, but faced no real repercussions with the UFC as a result of his behavior.
That’s obviously an extreme case when it comes to McGregor, but there’s also no doubt that the leeway he’s been afforded is more than what almost any other fighter in history would have received.
White doesn’t deny the kind of power McGregor wields thanks to his incredible star power and the fact that he rakes in more pay-per-view buys and ticket sales than any athlete in UFC history.
“Conor works very well with us. We’ve worked very well with him. There are obviously certain things you have to deal with, with a Conor McGregor,” White told ESPN’s “Get Up” recently ahead of UFC 229. “He’s worth it.”
Though it’s doubtful that anything like what happened at the Barclays Center back in April would ever happen again, White admits that different considerations are taken into account when dealing with McGregor.
It’s the same reason why White doesn’t typically admonish McGregor for some of his less extreme behavior because ultimately he’s worth every headache that he causes.
“For example, the New York thing. The fact that he thought he could come here and have this beef with Khabib in the middle of New York City and the way that it was done, that’s obviously the craziest thing,” White said.
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“Normal, typical stuff for Conor — showing up an hour late for the press conference.”
The UFC looking the other way for McGregor’s behavior might seem unfair, but obviously his drawing power for one pay-per-view event in 2018 might equal the total of all of the other pay-per-view events put on by the promotion up to this point in the year.
That’s why McGregor gets those special concessions that aren’t typically tolerated for anyone else on the roster.