I have a confession to make. When Dana White said he was truly disgusted with Conor McGregor’s actions after the infamous dolly attack, I actually thought he would follow through with his disgust. I thought he was going to stand up to his cash cow and give Conor the Paul Daley treatment.
My co-editor at the Jiu-Jitsu Times, Jill Gill, was a bit more skeptical of White’s willingness to boot Conor out of the UFC, and with good reason: less than a few days after Conor forced four fighters out of their matches in what can rightly be considered the worst attack on athletes in MMA history (perhaps even sports history), White told reporters that his relationship with The Notorious was “good” and that there was a “mutual respect” between him and the former Lightweight Champion.
Many, myself and my co-workers included, have been highly critical (to put it gently) of the UFC President’s immediate change of heart. One of these critics is UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who opined:
… imagine if Ray Borg threw that dolly and Conor was inside. He’d be gone, his career would be over. That’s one of the more ****** up things about this is that you know Conor is getting special treatment. He is, and that’s not good for anybody.”
… imagine if Ray Borg threw that dolly and Conor was inside. He’d be gone, his career would be over.
Rogan definitely has a point. Right now, the UFC is suffering from a lack of star power. Georges St-Pierre, Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones, and many of the other fighters who helped fill Dana’s garage with fancy cars are either uninterested or unable to return to the octagon.
Simply put: maybe Dana was truly disgusted with Conor McGregor’s behavior before UFC 223. Heck, maybe, as I write this, Dana White is sitting there in his home saying, “God I wish I could get rid of Conor.”
But he can’t! Conor is not only too big, he’s the only big star the UFC has. Even with “The Notorious” former UFC Lightweight Champion, mixed martial arts only draws a fraction of the audience football, baseball, basketball, and boxing draw. Without him, Dana would barely be able to pay his electric bills (I’m exaggerating, of course).
Conor may be like chemotherapy for the UFC: painful, but the only thing keeping them alive.
Check out Joe Rogan’s opinions on Dana White below: