Dana White says UFC’s Irish star wants to bet on himself. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Conor McGregor is no stranger to bold predictions, but the cocksure Irishman may have outdone himself when he offered a pricey wager to UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
McGregor faces Chad Mendes at UFC 189 on Saturday for the interim featherweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Thus far, “Notorious” has finished four of his first five Octagon opponents in two rounds or less, often prefacing his victories with surprisingly accurate prognostications.
“You want to know how confident this kid is?” White said during an appearance on the “The Jim Rome Show” on Tuesday. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but he told Lorenzo and I the other day, ‘I’ll bet you $3 million I knock him out in the second round.’”
As much of a gambling man as White is, it doesn’t sound like he took McGregor up on his offer.
“I like to bet; I don’t know if I’m that willing to make that bet,” White said. “When I tell you how extremely confident he is in himself, it’s fascinating. He’s a very unique, fascinating individual. He’s fun to listen to, and he’s definitely fun to watch.”
It’s par for the course for McGregor, whose outspoken ways have helped him leapfrog a number of other worthy contenders to the top of the featherweight division. White is aware that McGregor still has his doubters, but he believes those questions are part of what makes the UFC 189 matchup with Mendes, a former NCAA All-American wrestler, all the more appealing.
“He is 100 percent on his way up and still has things to prove, but he’s backed up everything he’s said. When he went in and finished Dustin Poirier, the No. 6 or No. 5 ranked guy in the world at the time, everyone started to take him serious, and he was a lot harder to deny when he did that,” White said. “This is part of the excitement and allure of this fight: Is Conor McGregor for real? If he beats Mendes, the Aldo fight is even bigger than it was before.”