UFC President Dana White doesn’t think Conor McGregor has retired after all.
When McGregor announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Twitter last week, White released a glowing statement about the Dubliner’s announcement:
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 26, 2019
But White has done a 180 on his apparent approval of McGregor’s decision to call it quits from the sport. Instead, he believes McGregor is using retirement talk as leverage as he did back in 2016.
“No [I don’t believe he’s retired],” White said to 8 News NOW Las Vegas [H/T Sherdog]. “I think that there’s some things that Conor wants and I think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably will in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get this thing figured out.”
When asked about McGregor’s public desire of owning a stake in the promotion, White was cool on the idea.
“Listen, who gets respected more than Conor McGregor does? Come on,” White said. “The guy’s never been disrespected, definitely not by me. And he’s got a lot of money too.
“But he’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership and that’s just — if you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the league, and the list goes on and on.
“Is Conor very valuable to the sport and to the brand, the UFC? Of course he is. That’s a tough one, but I think there’s other ways that we can make him happy.”