UFC president Dana White has finally acknowleged what everyone already knew – that superstar fighter Conor McGregor gets special treatment compared to the rest of the roster.
“For me to say (McGregor doesn’t get special treatment) would be ridiculous – of course he does,” White said during a Q&A session hosted by Jim Rome on SiriusXM Rush. “I respect this guy so much as a fighter, and there’s give and take in this business. It just can’t be take-take on either side. There’s give and take in every relationship. This guy has given, given, given. When we’re looking down the barrel of a fight being canceled, this guy steps up and takes any kind of fight. He deserves something back. So when he wants something, there’s give and take and I do it. A lot of these guys want, want, want, but don’t want to give back in return. So it’s that kind of relationship.”
White also recounted the biggest moment from yesterday’s chaotic UFC 205 pre-fight press conference, when McGregor looked like he was going to throw a chair at Eddie Alvarez following a heated confrontation between the two.
“Conor was in the middle of saying something, so I was looking at him – and the chair went flying behind him,” White said. “I thought that (Alvarez) threw the chair. But my guy has video footage and we looked at it. He was just fired up and just pushed the chair out of the way, and it just happened to slide across the floor. So Conor picks the chair up over his head like he’s gonna throw it at him. And I’m like, ‘Conor – do not throw this chair. Do not throw this chair.’ So I’m trying to stop it. These chairs are like 15 pounds – they’re heavy metal chairs. He could’ve cut his finger. Anything could’ve happened. I’ve got to get some plastic lawn furniture out there at these press conferences now.”
What would have happened if White hadn’t intervened to stop him throwing the chair? The UFC President thinks the mega-fight would have been scrapped by the commission.
“He says to me, ‘What do you think they would’ve charged me for a chair?’ Millions of dollars, I’ll tell you that right now, because the fight probably wouldn’t have happened. This is the first time we’ve been in New York (under the new athletic commission) and dealt with the New York State Athletic Commission.”
Still, ‘all’s well that ends well’, and it’s all part of the rollercoaster ride with McGregor that’s left White acknowledging that he’s the “most special athlete” he’s ever dealt with in his UFC career.
“Conor is definitely a force,” White admitted. “I’ve never seen anything like this kid. The thing that makes him the most special athlete that I’ve ever worked with is that if Eddie Alvarez fell out tonight, Conor would say, ‘Who am I fighting?’ And he’d fight somebody else no matter who it was. He would do it. Most guys don’t do that. They don’t do it. There’s too much on the line – there’s too much at stake. They’re too famous. They have the belt. They’re making too much money. He pushes all his chips on the table every time he fights.
“I think that’s what makes him the most special guy who’s ever fought here, or girl, and I think the fans would agree that they love that type of personality – even if you hate Conor and don’t like the way he acts, don’t like the things he says, somebody tell me the last time they saw a boring Conor McGregor fight. It doesn’t happen. It doesn’t exist. His press conferences aren’t boring, his weigh-ins aren’t boring, and his fights definitely aren’t boring.”