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Dana White reacts to Conor McGregor facing off with Mike Perry while holding BKFC title

Photos by Phil Lambert

Dana White was as surprised as the rest of the MMA world to see Conor McGregor’s cameo at BKFC 41.

McGregor made an impromptu appearance in the bare-knuckle boxing ring this past Saturday when he faced off with Mike Perry following Perry’s second-round TKO victory over Luke Rockhold in BKFC 41’s main event. The former two-division UFC champion was in attendance for the event, made himself a vocal presence throughout the night, and even slung a BKFC championship belt over his shoulder for his faceoff with Perry.

White reacted to scene Thursday on the My Mom’s Basement podcast.

“I think that Conor went out and was having fun, and got caught up in the moment,” the UFC president said. “And, you know, the dude [Perry] called him into the ring, and, you know, he did it. I also saw [McGregor] pounding a bottle of Proper 12. I’m sure that probably had something to do with it too.

“But listen, man, at the end of the day, Conor has done a lot here, he’s made a lot of money, the guy’s out having fun. And, you know, it’s all good.”

Asked whether the visual of his biggest star promoting a rival brand frustrated him, White brushed off the idea.

“Not at all,” he said. “Not even a little bit.”

McGregor, 34, spoke highly of BKFC and the sport of bare-knuckle boxing following his Saturday night cameo. “The Notorious” teased that he may one day step into the bare-knuckle boxing ring for real and gave himself the new nickname “slicey bare paw.”

For now, though, McGregor has other business to attend to. The Irishman stars in a coaching role alongside Michael Chandler on The Ultimate Fighter 31, which debuts May 30. Following the season’s conclusion, the two rivals are expected to fight sometime in 2023.

White said there is still no timetable for when that fight takes place, however he hopes to finalize a date soon.

“I actually saw a picture of Conor today where he actually looked leaner, like he’s starting to cut the weight down,” White said. “We’ll see. This guy is going through a ton of s*** with his body after breaking his shin bone. Believe me, as soon as we can get it done, we’ll get it done.”

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