All this chaos is the result of Dana White’s ego, no doubt about it. Fan’s who are irate because Conor McGregor isn’t fighting at UFC 200, should focus all their attention on Dana White.
White announced yesterday that McGregor would not be fighting at UFC 200 pay-per-view because of his refusal to fly to Las Vegas to film a promotional commercial for this event. White spoke on ESPN’s SportsCenter about his decision.
“Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas [this week] to film the commercial or be a part of any of the marketing that we have. He’s in Iceland training and [not participating in the marketing] is not possible. This has only happened one other time in UFC history.”
For the most part, White is correct. White is the boss, McGregor is the employee. White has the right to tell McGregor what to do. White, understandably, can’t allow other fighters to call their own shots once they become popular. It sets a bad precedent and harms the sports for every overnight sensation to hold the UFC hostage.
In this case however, White is wrong, and if you agree you’re wrong too.
Watch Jimmy Johnson: A Football Life. In this piece, he tells his players upfront that he’s going to treat the best players like royalty, and the rest like royal pains.
There is a funny story about Michael Irvin (pictured above with Johnson), where Irvin got into a loud and verbal argument with a Special Teams coach in training camp in front of fans, media, and the rest of the team. The altercation was close to getting physical, but no discipline came to Irvin over the incident. The Special Teams coach’s job would have been in jeopardy if he didn’t let it go. Why? Johnson had a clear philosophy on the matter – the team needed Irvin a lot more than they needed another Special Teams coach.
No matter what you hear, this is about White not understanding he needs McGregor a lot more than he needed a commercial. This is not about Joao Carvalho, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who died on April 12th following a TKO loss, any insinuation of that is disrespectful to the life of Carvalho and his family.
White’s problem is that he let his ego get in the way of calling McGregor and asking him to do the commercial when it was convenient for him. White is supposed to give the fans what they want, and the fans want McGregor. Without McGregor, White won’t get what he wants – people paying to see the UFC event.
McGregor’s last three fights have registered as three of the four largest ticket sales in UFC history. His last three fights have grossed $25,307,897 combined, and he doesn’t get all of that money. McGregor is not Floyd Mayweather; he has a boss (White) who gets most of the money. So White couldn’t send a camera crew with a producer and a green screen to Ireland, so McGregor could say a few lines.
UFC is a business whose stars are changing constantly. One properly placed punch or kick can make or break a career. White knows this. White has modeled the UFC after Vince McMahon’s WWE. It’s so obvious, with the storytelling and entrances, and how the company is run. McMahon has a famous saying though, “get the match in the ring.”
White needs to do just that. McGregor won’t fight for the next 50 years, but with good health, White will still be in charge of the UFC. Now, everyone watching should take this whole thing with a grain of salt. It wouldn’t be the first time a fight promoter used a publicity stunt to sell tickets.
It’s strange when the promoter casts themselves as the idiot.