May 4, 2017
The rumors about a fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have been up and down for months, but one of the most important people involved in the negotiations insists no bout is imminent.
When asked by TMZ this week if negotiations between McGregor and Mayweather are progressing, UFC president Dana White said a deal is “not close” to being reached.
“To get a deal like this done, this doesn’t happen in a couple months,” White said. “It’s gonna be a tough deal to get done — if it gets done at all. It’s not that I’m having doubts, but never did I guarantee that I deal would get done. I guaranteed that I would try my hardest.”
There have been reports that White is actually one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way, as he would need to let McGregor out of his UFC contract to fight Mayweather. Showtime Sports executive vice president Stephen Espinoza said in a recent interview that he believes White is afraid McGregor will make so much money fighting Mayweather that he may never return to the UFC.
White insists that could not be further from the truth, and he said the negotiations are typical for a fight of this magnitude.
“(Manny) Pacquiao and Mayweather are in the same sport, and look how long that fight took to make,” White said.
With how much money McGregor said he expects to make to fight Mayweather, it would not be a surprise if the Irishman never returned to the UFC afterward. Still, it seems as if White is willing to do his part to make the bout happen.