The New England Patriots might want to start planning for Dana White’s arrival.
The man who once said there was a better chance of him backing up quarterback Tom Brady than Conor McGregor fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. has changed his tune in recent weeks, to the point where White now finds it hard to envision a scenario where the two don’t throw down.
“I’m very bullish on this fight,” the UFC president told reporters Wednesday during an appearance before a New York Mets game at Citi Field, per MMAFighting.com. “I think it happens. These guys are gonna have to come up with something way out of left field for this fight not to happen.”
There still is plenty to iron out, although McGregor recently announced he’s reached a deal for the fight. That said, Mayweather has been optimistic about the fight happening, and White estimated Wednesday there’s a “75 percent” chance of the boxing match going down, perhaps as early as later this year.
So, why is White — a guy who once found the idea of McGregor fighting Mayweather to be so laughable that he joked about suiting up for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — suddenly so confident? Well, it likely stems from the mutual interest McGregor and Mayweather have expressed, as well as the interest expressed by fans. There’s a chance this fight could break the pay-per-view record set by Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015, meaning there’s plenty of financial incentive for both sides regardless of how the purse is divided.
“We haven’t even talked percentages yet. … Floyd can think whatever, but the machine that the UFC has and Conor McGregor alone is a machine by himself,” White said, per MMAFighting.com. “I think that 50-50 is pretty fair.”
White also sounds fairly confident in the personal nature of the negotiations, perhaps making him even more confident the sides will work something out at some point.
“We’re ready to go,” White said. “And I think what we’re looking at in the deal is as fair as fair can be. You’ve gotta understand, Floyd and (Al) Haymon and that group are used to dealing with the scummiest human beings on the planet Earth. I think it’s a little refreshing working with us. And I’m not just being arrogant. They’ve said that to us. I can see it getting done.”
You hear that, Mr. Belichick? Manage your roster accordingly.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images
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