When rumours first emerged that Conor McGregor wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather, not many people thought it could actually happen – and UFC chief Dana White was one of its biggest detractors.
But now, with both men more than interested, White has admitted he’s been in talks with Mayweather’s team for “a while” – and he’s taken back his suggestion the fight was as likely as him becoming back-up quarterback to Tom Brady.
“I think there’s a better chance of it happening than me quarterbacking,” White said after UFC 210, according to MMA Fighting.
“I see this fight happening. Conor wants it and Floyd wants it. I’ve said many times, Conor has done a lot. He’s stepped up for the big fights for this company and for me and for Lorenzo (Fertitta), and I can’t deny him this fight.”
Dates, prize money and locations have all been thrown around – with McGregor’s trainer John Kavanagh even saying recently he expects the fight to happen this year at 147 pounds – but it would appear things are still a long way from being confirmed.
White had previously been blamed for holding up the bout, which would take place in the ring rather than the octagon, with Money’s uncle Jeff Mayweather suggesting he wanted 80% of McGregor’s cut from the fight.
The 47-year-old rubbished those claims, insisting that he’s trying his hardest to get the best deal for The Notorious and that he and McGregor are on good terms.
“I would like to clarify all the bullshit about the 80 fucking 20 split,” he said. “Jeff Mayweather. Come on, Jeff. Me and Jeff go way back. Jeff, are you the spokesman now for fucking Team Mayweather? And (boxing promoter) Bob Arum? You piece of shit. Fuck you too.
“What do they know about this fight? You want to know what they know about this fight? Nothing. Believe me, we’ve had preliminary talks with Conor and I’m in a good place with Conor and we’re going to meet in New York when he has his baby.”
The Irishman hasn’t fought since defeating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title in November, becoming the first person to hold two UFC belts at once in the process, and is taking some time away in preparation for his first child.