On Wednesday, Conor McGregor had a dinner meeting with UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills – a presumably awkward powwow that came one month after the superstar was dropped from UFC 200 for refusing to promote the event.
Earlier that day, White told SportsCenter he was flying to L.A. with hopes of moving past the debacle and deciding the Irishman’s next bout. “Tonight, at like 10 o’clock,” he said, “I’ll have a lot more answers on the Conor McGregor situation.”
Well, if so, White is keeping those answers to himself. A day after McGregor left the dinner in his $500,000 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe, the UFC still has not issued a statement regarding its top star’s future. Will McGregor return for a Welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz after his surprise loss at UFC 196? Move down to 145 pounds to defend his Featherweight title? Or leave the sport altogether and don boxing gloves to take on retired world champion Floyd Mayweather? In an interview with Rolling Stone, longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan gives us his take on what likely happened over dinner – and why he may soon be leaving the sport himself.
What do you think of Conor McGregor’s standoff with UFC, and the meeting he just had with Dana White?
You know what? I think that Conor made a mistake. I get where his perspective is, but I think the guy’s just obsessed with improvement, and he just wanted to have a crazy training camp and get ready for Nate Diaz. He didn’t want to be distracted. I get it from his perspective. I think that was a mistake, though. I think he has a media obligation. It’s a part of any contract you sign when you are promoting fights. It’s part of how the UFC does business. They’re essentially all business partners, and the UFC wanted Conor to do his part of the business. And he didn’t want to do it.
Conor is obsessed. He wants to train and do nothing but train, and if you listen you hear him saying that just one or two of his tweets could do what one of these press conferences or big tours can do. Dana and the Fertittas obviously disagree. So, the solution was “You don’t fight at UFC 200, and we’ll have Jon Jones fight Daniel Corimer instead.” I think it’s a wake-up call for Conor. I mean, it’s what he needed. Conor’s a huge superstar, but he did just lose his last fight, and, as big as he is, he’s not bigger than the sport.
But Dana loves the guy. Hopefully they’ll work it out. I think they’ll work it out. I can’t imagine a world where they don’t work it out.
Do you think Conor vs. Floyd Mayweather could actually happen?
Um, I don’t think that it’s real. But, it could be. And it wouldn’t be a good fight for Conor. I can’t imagine a world where Floyd Mayweather doesn’t box as good as Conor.
Speaking of Mayweather – is it harder to go from MMA to boxing or boxing to MMA?
Boxing to MMA for sure, because there’s a far greater learning curve in the grappling, and there’s no grappling in boxing – but MMA does have boxing. MMA fighters have some knowledge of boxing, and some of them are much better at it than others. Like, there’s some guys that I think could go into boxing right now and be successful. Uriah Hall’s a perfect example. He’s got lightning-fast hands, he is a super athlete and his hand techniques are so sharp and clean. I think that he can go into boxing and actually do really well on a professional level. I think Anderson Silva in his prime probably could have done well as a professional boxer.