‘Unless there’s an absolute miracle in the next three months… I don’t know’: Dana White casts doubt over a Conor McGregor return as UFC chief laments financial hardship caused by coronavirus crisis
- Dana White has cast doubt over a Conor McGregor return to the UFC
- McGregor has not competed since blitzing Donald Cerrone in January 2020
- There had been talk that the Irishman would compete at ‘Fight Island’ shortly
- However, White insists that a McGregor return is unlikely in the short term
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Dana White has revealed that he does not envision Conor McGregor competing in the UFC for some time, with the UFC President lamenting the financial hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Despite virtually all sports grinding to a halt as a result of the spread of the deadly disease, White has been keen to ensure the UFC takes as little damage as possible, with the promotion becoming the ‘first sport back on TV’ when Tony Ferguson fought Justin Gaethje in Jacksonville earlier this month.
White has been working on grand plans to stage events in the coming months, with a mysterious ‘Fight Island’ singled out as a location in which international fighters can compete.
Dana White has cast doubt over a UFC return for Conor McGregor in the next three months
Fans have clamoured for the Irishman to return to action and he’s been linked with Fight Island
McGregor, who last competed in January when he blitzed Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds, has been mooted as someone who could potentially compete at the location.
The Irishman has been linked with a host of names for his next bout, with ‘The Notorious One’ agreeing to fight Anderson Silva in what would be a huge clash between two of the sport’s biggest names.
He also has options at lightweight, with the 31-year-old keen to avenge his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, as well as silence rival Gaethje, who recently slammed the star for his acts outside of the octagon.
McGregor defeated Donald Cerrone in January and has been linked with a host of names
The 31-year-old accepted a challenge from Anderson Silva (L) for a mega-bout in the future
But White says any talk of McGregor competing at ‘Fight Island’ are way off the mark.
‘Unless there’s an absolute miracle and the world turns around in the next three months, which I don’t see happening – people are crazy right now over this thing – I don’t know [if McGregor will fight],’ he told reporters on Friday via MMA Junkie.
‘I don’t know anymore. Since this thing [coronavirus] started, I’ve been trying to get ahead of it and get ahead of it and get ahead of it. And every time we thought we got ahead of it, the next day it would change.
‘I’m not going to sit here and act like now that it’s all starting to come back, I know what’s going to happen 30 days from now, because I don’t.
However, White says that financial hardships caused by coronavirus means that star names are unable to get paid what they desire
His comment comes amid a public row with Jon Jones over negotiations for a mega-fight
‘I’m in the same boat as everybody else. I’m just trying to think ahead and figure this thing out and be aggressive – be aggressive, but be smart about it. I highly doubt [McGregor will lower his asking price to fight]. I’ve got guys hammering me for more money right now. Apparently they don’t watch the news and know we’re in a pandemic. That isn’t their problem.’
That last comment appears to be a pointed reference to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who has become embroiled in a public spat with the UFC over negotiations for a mega-fight with heavyweight star Francis Ngannou.
White had previously said that the sum of money Jones was demanding was comparable to what former heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder earns, while Jones has said that the UFC need to pay him what he is worth.
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