Dana White ‘Absolutely’ Thinks Conor McGregor Will Defend UFC Title by End of 2017

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 15, 2017


Conor McGregor will likely earn life-changing money for his Aug. 26 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean his UFC days are numbered.

In fact, UFC President Dana White believes the Irishman will be back in the Octagon to defend his 155-pound title by year’s end.

“I’m pretty confident in the conversation that I had with him. He’s fired up and excited to fight again and defend his title by the end of the year. Nothing is a guarantee. You can’t be guaranteed anybody’s ever going to fight again,” White said during a recent conference call. “The reason this fight is so big and he’s such a huge superstar is he’s willing to fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. I’ve got all these guys crying about Conor McGregor this, Conor McGregor that. Shut up. Step up and fight like Conor McGregor fights. Take the big fights when somebody falls out four or five days [out]. He’ll fight anybody….[But if you ask me] do I think Conor’s coming back this year? I absolutely do.”

Financial terms of the Mayweather-McGregor deal were not revealed when the bout was announced, and obtaining any type of information regarding fighter purses could prove to be difficult.

‘We have a confidentiality clause in place and financial details will not be disclosed,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said when asked about a revenue split between the two combatants.

Nonetheless, it is safe to assume that McGregor will easily surpass the disclosed $3 million he took home for his UFC 202 win over Nate Diaz, a record purse for the Las Vegas-based promotion.

“Nobody’s bummed out about this deal,” White said. “I promise you that.”

McGregor last fought at UFC 205, when he claimed lightweight gold with a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden. Virtually everything will be different against Mayweather — the ring, the rules, the equipment — but according to White, McGregor never fails to rise to the occasion.

“This kid eats pressure like nobody I’ve ever seen. From the minute we found him and started building him….every fight is next level,” White said. “He was the guy and the whole thing was riding on his back; he handles the pressure very well. This one, we’re not sharing the limelight, we’re stepping into Floyd’s world. I’m really excited to see how he handles it that night. I’m really excited to see his game plan when he starts executing that night.

“I’m always fascinated by Conor McGregor. I stopped doubting this kid a long time ago. It’s gonna be fun to watch.”

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