Dana White wants everyone to know that he has the utmost respect for the USADA, despite comments he recently made that sounded like the contrary.
In an interview with TSN, the UFC president was asked about the ongoing status of former two-division champion Conor McGregor, specifically whether he’ll be able to compete anytime soon not having re-enrolled in the USADA drug-testing program. McGregor has not fought since July 2021 due to a broken leg suffered in a loss to Dustin Poirier and he is required to be tested six months in advance of his return fight due to being removed from the pool.
White stated his confidence that a fight between McGregor and rival The Ultimate Fighter 31 coach Michael Chandler will still happen before the end of 2023 and then told TSN the following:
“We’ll see how that plays out. They’re saying that now, but we don’t-who knows? I don’t talk about s*** until s*** happens. To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea. … The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s going to play out? Who cares what USADA says, we’ll see what happens when it happens. So I don’t know.”
White seemingly disregarding the role that the USADA plays in regulating UFC athletes generated plenty of negative publicity on social media, which White attributes to reporters misconstruing his comments.
At the UFC 290 post-fight press conference Saturday in Las Vegas, White was given the opportunity to respond to the backlash.
“Listen, I’m glad you brought that up,” White said. “You know, there’s a lot of business that needs to be handled before we talk about this and I was doing an interview on Friday and a bunch of f****** scumbags wrote stories that I said, ‘F*** USADA, I don’t care what USADA says.’ It’s not even remotely close to what I said, so first of all I’d like to say, ‘F*** you’ to everybody that wrote that story, number one. And number two, there’s a lot of stuff that has to go on before he fights
“My point was no matter who’s talking about it, whether it’s USADA or whoever and this and that, it’s not even worth talking about right now. Everybody wants to keep bringing it up so that pieces of s*** can write stories like that. Never did I say, ‘I don’t give a s*** what USADA thinks’ or disrespecting USADA or anything like that. It doesn’t matter what anybody says, I don’t know how this whole thing’s going to play out. Let’s wait and see.”
White provided no further insight on how McGregor might be eligible to fight in the next six months given the USADA’s standard requirements for returning fighters.
Whether White is justified in his expectations or not, he and McGregor are on the same page, at least according to McGregor’s tweets from Saturday evening. “The Notorious” took to Twitter to respond to questions about the Chandler matchup and wrote that he plans to compete in December.