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Dana White: If you’re not Conor McGregor, ‘shut up’ about money fights

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UFC 205 Press Conference Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The term ‘money fight’ has pervaded the MMA lexicon over the last few years, rising in turn with the unprecedented rise of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. And for good reason. The Irishman’s dogged pursuit of the almighty dollar has resulted in financial record after financial record shattering for the UFC, giving McGregor the leeway to pursue untraditional fights outside of his division even while he ruled over the 145-pound weight class as an absentee UFC champion.

And with plenty of fighters throwing the term around during in the lead-up to UFC 209 fight week, from welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley to middleweight champion Michael Bisping, UFC president Dana White seems to have finally had enough.

“Everybody listen, I’m getting tired of the term ‘money fights,’ okay?” White told reporters in Las Vegas on Friday. “‘I want the money fights, I want the money fights.’ What, are you all going to move down and fight Conor?

“Listen, there’s no bones about it, Conor is the guy. Conor brings in big gates, big pay-per-view numbers and everything else. Shut up if you don’t. If you’re not him, shut up.“

McGregor’s expensive goals and record-breaking paydays have, in many ways, cultivated a noticeable shift in the demands and requests of some UFC fighters. The business of MMA, once a taboo subject for fighters to broach, is becoming an increasingly common conversation piece for UFC athletes to take to the public arena.

The phenomena has also occurred hand-in-hand with the rise of free agency and the establishment of several groups attempting to bring athletes together under a united front in the form of a fighters union or fighters association.

But unless your name is McGregor, or at least some other star who proves to be big business at the box office, White isn’t interested in hearing the term ‘money fight’ be thrown around willy-nilly.

“Guys are talking about money fights,” a heated White said. “I’m like, you’re not a money fight, okay? You’re not a money fight. You’re going to make whatever you’re going to make, and if you’re a good champion and your fight sells, you’re going to do pay-per-views and you’re a partner in the pay-per-view. If you’re not that big pay-per-view star, shut up and fight.”