UFC: Dana White Talks McGregor vs ‘Cowboy’, Adesanya And Till
After fifteen months away from the UFC Octagon, Conor McGregor returns this weekend at UFC 246, where he will face ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in the main event of the promotion’s first event of the new decade.
Whether you’re a fan of McGregor or not, the Irishman help transcend the sport in the last decade. So having not fought at all in 2019, UFC president Dana White is happy to have the former UFC two division champion back this weekend.
“Obviously Conor always brings a level of excitement and a ‘what’s going to happen?’ type feeling, so it’s good to have him back. Anytime any of the big stars are coming back to fight, it’s exciting. I love this sport, I love the energy of fight week and I love fight night. To have Conor back is fun,” Dana told The Mac Life.
With McGregor’s absence and troubles outside of the Octagon, many fans and people within the sport have questioned his drawing power today and the effects it may have on the promotion.
“You talk about the people that have insight into the business and say these things, they’re all full of s***. None of them know what they’re talking about and literally none of them know anything about this business. Not one of them know anything about this business.
“We knew what the Conor fight would do. Obviously, we’re the ones that set the price for tickets and all the things that go along with the business. Conor’s coming in here pulling a $10.6 million gate. The fight is off the charts. As far as ESPN and what’s going on there with pay-per-view and everything else, everything is as usual.”
Earlier this week, McGregor stated that he will be earn $80 million for fighting ‘Cowboy’ at UFC 246. While Dana did not confirm or deny the figure, he did remind fans that Conor continues to bring in more money every fight.
“Conor is a massive superstar in this sport. He’s a phenomenon. The kid’s been making big money since the day he stepped in. From day one, when he fought he started to [rise]. Nothing has changed. Obviously he needs a win on Saturday. It’s a big deal for him to get back here and win this fight.”
And while many fans are writing off ‘Cowboy’s’ chances against McGregor, Dana isn’t underestimating him for one second.
“Cowboy is a top five fighter in the world. Don’t ever underestimate a top five fighter in the world. It’s very, very hard to get into the top five in the UFC and Cerrone has been around for a long time. He’s fought everybody, he’s been in big fights and he’s got more fights at 170 [pounds] than Conor McGregor does. This isn’t a layup for Conor, this isn’t an easy fight. This isn’t ‘Welcome back, Conor. Here’s some easy money’ and an open door to Khabib.”
Dana also discussed the middleweight division. Firstly Darren Till, who a couple of days ago took to social media to hint that he would be fighting on the UFC 248 card in Las Vegas.
“We’ve been talking to [Till] and bouncing around with different opponents and yeah, we’ll have something for him very soon. It’ll either be London (March 21st) or Vegas (UFC 248 on March 8th).”
But while there has been speculation that Till’s next opponent would Hermansson, Dana said he had other ideas.
“Probably not. We’ll see how this plays out. [It will be against] one of the top guys.”
The UFC boss also stated that he still planned to make Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier 3, once the champion is healthy again and reiterated the fact that middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against Yoel Romero next.
“Israel has accomplished a lot of incredible things since he’s been here and you know how I am with guys like that. I respect the fact that Israel wants to fight Yoel Romero. Nobody wants to fight Yoel Romero. The fact that he feels his legacy wouldn’t be complete without a win over Yoel Romero, I love that type of stuff. Yeah, we’ll get it done.”
Who do you think wins this weekend, Conor McGregor vs ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone?