UFC president Dana White has revealed that he and Conor McGregor’s relationship was in “a really bad place” in 2020 when the former dual-weight champion appeared to retire for the third time in four years.
McGregor knocked out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds last January in his first fight since October 2018, a win that was supposed to kickstart a “season” of three contests in 2020.
But the coronavirus pandemic, as well as failed negotiations with White, led McGregor to seemingly step away from MMA – something he has threatened to do numerous times in recent years.
And White has now opened up on how strained his relationship with ‘Notorious’ was last year, with McGregor at the time sharing screenshots of some of his conversations with the UFC president in an attempt to prove he was eager to compete.
“We were in a really bad place then,” White told ESPN. “I was really upset.
“It wasn’t because he put out private messages, it was [because] we were talking about another fighter [Diego Sanchez, whom McGregor offered to fight].
“I like Diego Sanchez a lot and I have a lot of respect for Diego Sanchez. I care about Diego Sanchez. I was very upset about that.
“I talked to Diego face-to-face about it. Being the great human being that he is, we’re all good. Then I was really, really upset with Conor.
“Conor and I fixed that and we talked and we got through it. We’re in a good place now.”
White has also expressed his excitement to see McGregor compete again, saying: “There’s nothing more exciting or more fun than a motivated Conor McGregor when his head is in the right place.
“You can tell when he is and you can tell when he isn’t. You can tell right now he’s in.
“If something happens to Dustin Poirier, he is the Conor McGregor right now that does not give a s*** who we put in that fight on that night. He’s that guy right now.”