More than a few fans have been wondering why UFC president Dana White is in the middle of everything at the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather press conference tour that hit their third city today in New York. After all, the fight isn’t being promoted by the UFC - it’s under the umbrella of Mayweather Promotions and McGregor’s new promotional vehicle.
When asked about it, White had a simple response - he was asked to keep McGregor reined in by Mayweather’s elusive advisor, Al Haymon (via MMA Fighting):
“Al Haymon gave me specific directions,. To make sure that Conor McGregor does not touch Floyd Mayweather. I’ll be in the middle.”
White also addressed the curious issue where McGregor’s mic was cut at the first press conference in Los Angeles, something McGregor blamed Showtime for:
“It was weird how it happened,” White said. “We’re dealing with some things that we’re not used to dealing with. Plus, for me, being the control freak that I am, I have minimal control in all of this. But you have a lot of different people in the mix.”
White also made it clear that, while the UFC is getting paid for this deal, the real reason that this fight is happening is because of one person - McGregor:
“This is for Conor,” White said. “Listen, are we gonna make money? We’re absolutely gonna make money. We’re gonna make money, those guys are gonna make money. But at the end of the day, the only reason why I even considered doing this is for Conor.”
There is one more stop on the press tour, in London. McGregor and Mayweather will face off in a 12-round, 154-pound bout on August 26th in Las Vegas.