Dana White has Conor McGregor’s back.
McGregor traded verbal jabs this week with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who fired the first shot by saying it’s “total disrespect” to compare The Notorious’ accomplishments in UFC to his accomplishments in boxing. White took notice of the public squabble, and the UFC president pulled no punches in defending McGregor and going after Mayweather when contacted by TMZ Sports.
“Conor McGregor … if he touches you, you go to sleep,” White said. “Floyd puts people to sleep, too — with his fighting style, not with his hands.
“You know how Floyd knocks people out? When they’re not looking. Watch the Victor Ortiz fight.”
For those wondering: Mayweather, who retired with a perfect 49-0 record, knocked out Ortiz for his 42nd victory in 2011. It was a controversial win, though. Mayweather blasted Ortiz with a left hook and a straight right, sending him to the mat, as Ortiz, whose gloves were down, tried to apologize in the middle of the ring for head-butting him moments earlier.
Nevertheless, White’s main argument is a common one. Mayweather typically is viewed as a defensive fighter who picks his spots, not someone who slugs it out with his opponent. That would make for an interesting style clash if McGregor, who just became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously, stepped into the boxing ring against Mayweather.
Either way, White believes the sky is the limit for McGregor.
“This kid’s just getting started. This kid’s 28 years old,” White said. “Floyd can say what he wants about Conor, but even other fighters have to respect him. He’s special. Floyd’s never even come close to doing to other fighters what Conor does.”
McGregor can fight his own battles. We know this. But it never hurts to have some backup, especially when it comes from the president of the promotion for which you fight.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images