“Conor McGregor was never my friend.” - Dana White
“He’s my Ali. He’s my Tyson,” White said of McGregor in 2018. “He burst onto the scene and I knew the minute I sat down and had dinner with him that this kid was going to be a star. I didn’t know if he’d be able to fight and I didn’t know if he’d be able to win a title, but I knew he was going to be a star.”
Just one year later, and White seems to have had a change of heart, as the head fight promoter hailed Khabib Nurmagomedov the new face of the UFC in a recent interview with The Boston Globe.
“Khabib is the man now,” White said. “Conor isn’t the man anymore, so Khabib gets to sit back and call the shots.”
White’s comments soon caught the attention of McGregor, who reacted with the following fiery Tweet.
Who’s not the man? Your man had that marquee event did he? More like an event in a marquee. A tent in the fucking sand it was. Keep spoofing to your self horse. Jock strap sniffer championships.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 19, 2019
“Who’s not the man?” McGregor fired back. “Your man had that marquee event did he? More like an event in a marquee. A tent in the f-cking sand it was. Keep spoofing to your self horse. Jock strap sniffer championships.”
McGregor’s ‘tent in the f-cking sand’ comment is a reference to Khabib’s lightweight title defense against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Khabib, who submitted McGregor the previous year at UFC 229, finished Poirier with a rear-naked choke in the UFC 242 main event at Yas Island’s The Arena. The bout is reported to have pulled in roughly 26 million views in Russia alone, but US PPV numbers have yet to be released.
McGregor, who is widely considered the biggest MMA star in the sport’s history, is expected to return to the UFC in the new year.