Earlier this summer, when Conor McGregor made the jump over to boxing for a superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., he did it with the blessing of Dana White and the UFC. What resulted was one of the most lucrative fights in sports history and now, White may be regretting the decision.
With the amount of money generated by the superfight, and with the perceived ease of opposition a novice boxer like McGregor offers some of boxing’s biggest names, many top-shelf pugilists have begun calling out McGregor for their turn at showing him the ropes. Then last week, rumors began circulating that the biggest of those names, Manny Pacquiao, had begun negotiations with McGregor’s team for a fight in 2018. This came as news to White who said at the post-fight press conference for UFC Fresno that if the rumors were true, Pacquiao would be hearing from the UFC’s lawyers.
“That would be weird because he’s under contract with us,” said White. “If that’s true, I will be suing Manny Pacquiao and whoever’s representing him, so I’m assuming that’s not true. Yes, [Conor’s next fight is in the UFC].”
White isn’t the only promoter who doesn’t think much of the rumors. Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, also answered questions on Saturday evening after the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux boxing match, saying that Pacquiao’s people reached out to McGregor months ago but that nothing has come from it at the moment (via Fight Hub TV) and that he isn’t particularly interested in doing the fight.
“Is it true that Pacquiao reached out to McGregor? Yes, but it’s old news,” said Arum.
“I would do it for Manny but for me, if I promoted that fight, I would tell everybody up front, ‘Guess what, it’s not a f**king fight. If you want a spectacle, you can watch it.’”
Arum’s disinterest in promoting a crossover superfight between Pacquiao and McGregor could stem in part from his dislike of White. White and Arum have gone back and forth in the public forum for years and this weekend was no exception as Arum took the opportunity to take shots at White for his recent remarks that the UFC is looking at promoting boxing in the future as well.
“Who gives a s**t about White?” said Arum (via Fight Hub TV). “He’s a piece of crap. It’s an acknowledgment how strong boxing is that he has a UFC that’s cratering and he needs boxing to save himself.
“For me, that would be great. If Dana White started promoting boxing it would be terrific because it would show what we have now proven, that boxing is not an old man’s sport, that our demographics are young. We’ve been up against them twice and we’re up against them now for the third time but a level playing field, free television ESPN and free television FS1, and when it’s free . . . and we’ve got a level playing field, we beat the pants off them.”
It was just a month ago that White called Arum “literally the biggest piece of s**t in all of sports” so it should come as no surprise that White didn’t have much patience for Arum’s latest attack on him, though he did at least end his response with something of an olive branch.
“We’ll see Bob,” said White. “We’ll see at the end. Bob’s the same guy that said that the UFC would never work and the UFC was losing ‘oodles’ of money, whatever the f**k that means. I don’t know what ‘oodles of money’ means. Look at what we’ve done and look at where we are. Come on.
“At the end of the day, we’ll see who stands where when the smoke clears and the dust settles. I’ll give it to him though, for a f**king 95-year-old dude, this guy’s still pretty feisty. I’ll give him that. I’m impressed.”
Death. Cub Swanson said he “felt like I was going to die” in Brian Ortega’s choke.
Watch Robbie Lawler do work ahead of his return this weekend.
The pair of Bellator KOs.
Sakuraba and Josh Barnett have started a new grappling league that looks cool.
Luke Thomas. Post-fight discussion of all the weekend’s biggest combat.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
And just like that, your plans can change ....Congrats to @BrianTcity on a great performance (you’re a class act). Thank you to everyone who supports Me I feel blessed to have you All pic.twitter.com/q2S80tCqM0— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) December 11, 2017
Hats off to Marlon. Thought I timed the TD perfectly and he was able to land a nasty knee. Sucks to be the nail, but this is the fight game. I'm ok for all those asking— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) December 10, 2017
Thank God for the win but way more importantly praying that Aljamain is fine and 100 % healthy !! This game is nothing compared to our health . Must respect for him and his amazing team !— Marlon Moraes (@MMARLONMORAES) December 10, 2017
Not saying it’s ok but if you put your finger in my mouth I’m going to bite the fuck out of it...— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) December 10, 2017
Rabbit shots me to the back of my mother fuckin head gimme my fight back fuck that— Luka Jelcic (@JelcicLuka) December 10, 2017
This kid was the talk of Twitter yesterday and a lot of fighters are showing him love.
Meet Keaton Jones a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking!! I want to bring Keaton to Vegas and hang out at UFC Headquarters. If anyone knows how i can reach the family please let me know. Thank u everyone pic.twitter.com/BR8c4ldDFc— Dana White (@danawhite) December 10, 2017
Hey, #KeatonJones - you have friends here at the UFC, buddy. Today and everyday. #StandWithKeaton @Lakyn_Jones | @DC_MMA @TWooodley @FelderPaul @SugaRashadEvans @KennyFlorian pic.twitter.com/ZxX0cY1bu7— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
Keaton, I got your back. I am getting ready for my fight, but say the word and I’m there. Come be a part of of my training camp. You’re not alone. Anything you need I got you! https://t.co/yJY22jq4cd— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) December 11, 2017
Tony wants back in around March-April.
"Keep Em' Sharp" So I Asked Doc If He Could Make My Elbows Any More Sharper Well... w/ A Wink & A Nod It Was Done!!! T'Was A Very Minor Surgery & Now Getting Ready To Unify My Belt W/ McNuggets @thenotoriousmma In The 1st 1/4 Of The Year (March - April) As Recovery Is Going Great!!! #DefendorVacate MF'er The First Day Of Therapy Was Huge, "I Never Liked Sitting On The Sidelines" ✌️@repair_sports_institute_hb Almost To Full Flexibility & Next Is Strength ️Thanks Doctor Mora, @danawhite & @ufc For The OrthoScope It Was A Success #TSKYH Great Job , I Look Forward To Kicking McNuggets Ass & Defending My Strap For A Decade Or Two #AndTheNew #TonyFergusonMMA SnapJitsu™ #SnapDownCity My Mat MF'ers
Overeem is now working with SBG Ireland.
FWIW, I thought the new guy was solid.
Dork is the new cool, just so we’re clear. https://t.co/iyXJa9PGaG— Brendan Fitzgerald (@BrendanFitzTV) December 10, 2017
DRAGON SLEEPER FINISH IN MMA! PRO WRESTLING IS STRONG! pic.twitter.com/LW2DCXxL5X— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) December 11, 2017
OH. MY. GOODNESS. Knockout of the year!? @GrishamMMA thinks so! What a knockout by Kiatmookao to kick off #GLORYRedemption! DON'T MISS THE REST!— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) December 9, 2017
ORDER https://t.co/oKKyYr7UzK pic.twitter.com/kjgSzs6hZK
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
Brian Ortega is some kind of talent. There is a very good case to be made that he hasn’t won a round yet in the UFC, but it doesn’t matter because he is an absolutely lethal finisher. Cub made the tiniest of mistakes and that was all she wrote. Personally, I don’t think he’d beat Max Holloway but with that kind of lightning-in-a-bottle finishing talent, maybe he could shock everyone. I damn sure wouldn’t mind seeing him try anyway.
And we’re back for yet another fight week as the UFC keeps barrelling towards the end of the year, but this one is one on hell of a card, arguably the best non-PPV of the year. That’s right, it’s Brutal Bobby Law time everyone. Get hype.
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