Jeez, talk about out with the old and in with the new. After watching his latest cash cow fall to Nate Diaz Saturday at UFC 196, Dana White (pictured) embarked on a national tour to do damage control.
White typically lays low after holding a blockbuster event, but the McGregor haters came out in droves after he tapped to Diaz’s rear-naked choke, so this time the UFC president hit up multiple large media outlets to put things into perspective and stop the McGregor hemorrhaging.
Of course, White was quick to spotlight the fact McGregor was voluntarily jumping two weight classes, a difference of 25 pounds, in just three months. It’s unheard of that anyone, let alone a champion, makes that kind drastic transition – especially since McGregor just captured the UFC featherweight in December.
What better way to praise McGregor’s unprecedented ambition than by throwing Georges St-Pierre, the UFC’s previous pay-per-view king, under the bus?
“That’s the thing, nobody wants to do it. GSP would never move up to 185 to fight Anderson Silva. He wouldn’t do it,” White said on ESPN’s Russillo and Kanell. “That’s what makes Saturday so fun. You know how many times we wanted to do the GSP-Anderson Silva fight? GSP would not do it. Would not do it. Guys don’t do that stuff. That’s what makes Conor McGregor so unique, so fascinating and so fun.
“For GSP, he was moving up one weight class. Conor McGregor jumped up two weight classes.”
Long before McGregor was lining the UFC’s pockets, St-Pierre was their golden boy. GSP was the promotion’s biggest mainstream superstar, which allowed him to post massive PPV numbers each time he took center stage.
St-Pierre still holds the UFC record for the largest live gate at UFC 129 back in April 2011.
If St-Pierre was seriously contemplating a comeback, White just gave him very little reason to want. Or did White just poke the bear? Was this White’s way of egging St-Pierre on order to speed up the return process?
UFC 200 goes down July 9, and White would love nothing more than to have St-Pierre end his 28-month (and counting) “break” at the historic event.
Speaking of UFC 200, White said McGregor is itching to get back to work right away and is still targeting the blockbuster extravaganza to make his first featherweight title defense. Former champ Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are the frontrunners to land the gig opposite McGregor.