Dana White on Conor McGregor: ‘I guarantee he will not fight in 2020’

By Blake Harper | Last updated 8/4/20

Conor McGregor remains one of the most popular names in UFC, but according to Dana White, the Irish brawler won’t be entering the Octagon again until at least 2021. The UFC President appeared on Barstool’s “My Mom’s Basement” podcast and made it clear that McGregor won’t be fighting for UFC in 2020.

“This year, he is retired,” White said. “He doesn’t have a fight this year, and he won’t have a fight this year. Conor McGregor will not fight in 2020. … I guarantee he will not fight in 2020.”

McGregor announced his retirement on Twitter back in June and told ESPN that he simply did not find the sport exciting anymore. If he is serious about retirement, he goes out as arguably the most popular fighter in UFC history, with a  22-4 MMA record that includes 19 knockouts. His last fight was against Donald Cerrone in January, as McGregor managed to beat him by TKO in just 40 seconds.

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Las Vegas cleared to host May 30, June 6 UFC shows

The UFC has cleared its final hurdle to return to Las Vegas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, UFC boss Dana White confirmed to TMZ Sports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission approved the May 30 and June 6 events that will transpire at the UFC’s Apex in Vegas.

White told TMZ:

“I am so excited to be back in Vegas!!! Our Apex arena is incredible and the production value we can provide to fans is next level and it’s a safe environment for my fighters and my staff.”

Earlier this week, MMA Junkie’s Nolan King reported on UFC protocols for increased testing and additional social-distancing and self-isolation guidelines for fighters and corners ahead of shows occurring in Vegas. It’s believed these measures were necessary for the promotion to get the final go-ahead for upcoming events in the city and state.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 5/27/20

UFC 249 canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic

UFC head Dana White had some high hopes for the sport even with the United States currently being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. That included the UFC hosting weekly events on a private island until the pandemic passes.

It was not meant to be. White announced on Thursday that UFC 249, scheduled for next week, has been completely canceled. All future UFC events will also be postponed indefinitely.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 4/9/20

Association of Ringside Physicians recommends ‘indefinite suspension’ of combat sports during coronavirus pandemic

It appears UFC boss Dana White is prepared to go against the advice of doctors if he plans to host multiple events during the spring and summer months. 

On the same day White announced Tony Ferguson would face Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight championship in the main event of UFC 249 on April 18 in an undisclosed location and told TMZ Sports that he’d secured a private island to host future cards, the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) called for the indefinite suspension of all combat sports:

It is our recommendation that all combat sporting events be postponed until further notice. This includes any and all events, regardless of the number of people involved.

Any combat sport taking place during this global pandemic places the athletes, officials, and anyone else involved in the event under unnecessary risk of infection and transmission of Covid-19. In addition, combat sports athletes often require medical attention after a bout, and we do not wish to see any additional strain on an already overwhelmed medical system.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 4/7/20

Dana White Thinks Mayweather vs McGregor Will Happen

Written by Damon Martin at FoxSports.com

For months, UFC president Dana White shot down the idea that lightweight champion Conor McGregor would ever face Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match.

Well it appears White has changed his mind.

During an appearance on “Conan” on Wednesday night, White said without hesitation that he believes a deal will get done to pit McGregor against Mayweather in one of the most lucrative super fights in combat sports history.

“I do. I do think it’s going to happen,” White said. “I think it’s going to be a tough deal, there’s obviously a lot of egos involved in this deal and a lot of people so that always makes it tougher.

“On the flipside, there’s so much money involved, I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen.”

Mayweather and McGregor have been bantering back and forth for month through interviews and social media while negotiations have been ongoing to put the fight together.

Mayweather just recently presented a date in June for the proposed super fight, but FOX Sports reported earlier on Wednesday that the likelihood McGregor would sign on for a bout that soon is virtually impossible. McGregor is awaiting the birth of his first child in late April or early May, which would then only give him about a four-week training camp to prepare for Mayweather.

Add to that, McGregor would likely set up his training camp in Las Vegas to prepare for the fight with Mayweather, but the UFC champion is currently in Ireland with his girlfriend during the final weeks of her pregnancy.

While June seems unrealistic, sources have indicated that a September showdown between McGregor and Mayweather is much more likely if the two sides can come to a financial agreement to make the matchup official.

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UFC 205 Broke All Records In Company History

Written by Damon Martin at FoxSports.com

Dana White promised when the UFC finally arrived in New York it would be a huge card and a monumental occasion for the sport.

Both of those predictions came to fruition after UFC 205 delivered in every way, shape and form on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Conor McGregor headlined the card against Eddie Alvarez as he became the first ever simultaneous two division champion in UFC history taking home the lightweight title to add to the featherweight title he already possessed.

According to the UFC president, the massive show from New York City shattered every record the promotion has ever had over the past 23 years.

“Sitting here tonight, we broke every record in UFC history tonight. Every record,” White said at the post fight press conference. “The only one I’m waiting on now is the FOX number, how did FOX Sports 1 do and it would be really, really weird and make no sense if we didn’t break that record, too.”

Madison Square Garden packed in 20,427 fans with a gate of $17.7 million. The gate number is by far the largest in UFC history while also breaking a Madison Square Garden record as well, which was previously held by a boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis with $13.5 million in 1999.

“We broke the Madison Square Garden record, which I don’t think will ever be broken again,” White said. “Jesus is going to have to fight the Devil to break that record. I just don’t see what does it.”

According to White, UFC 205 will also be the biggest show in the history of the promotion when it comes to pay-per-view numbers.

As a private company, the UFC doesn’t release pay-per-view numbers but insiders have stated that the largest card prior to the show on Saturday night was UFC 202, which featured McGregor in a rematch against Nate Diaz from this past August.

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Rousey Will Not Return at UFC 205

Written at MMAJunkies.com

Are you getting antsy for something definitive on when Ronda Rousey will be back in the octagon?

Well, you can keep waiting. And if you were hopeful she’d make her way onto the historic UFC 205 card that will be the promotion’s debut in New York at Madison Square Garden, it sounds like your hopes have been dashed.

UFC President Dana White, on Tuesday’s “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton, said Rousey won’t be a part of UFC 205, which takes place Nov. 12 at MSG with a main card on pay-per-view.

“She’s definitely not fighting in New York,” White said. “I’m actually going to start building the New York card this week. Maybe when I get the New York card done, I’ll jump back on with you guys and announce it. But nothing yet (for Rousey).”

At one point, ex-bantamweight champ Rousey’s (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) comeback was anticipated for UFC 200 in July, first against Holly Holm, and then pushed to the year’s end against longtime rival Miesha Tate after Tate (18-6 MMA, 5-3 UFC) became women’s bantamweight champion.

But at UFC 200, Amanda Nunes (13-4 MMA, 6-1 UFC) took out Tate to win the title. And a couple weeks later, Holm (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) lost to Valentina Shevchenko (13-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), which may have taken the former champ out of the running for a rematch with Rousey, whom she knocked out at UFC 193 in November 2015.

Earlier this year, White said he was hopeful for Rousey’s return sometime this calendar year.

“Ronda’s going to come out and let us know when she’s ready to fight again,” White told Dan Patrick in May. “I would really like her to fight this year. I hope she does.”

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Dana White Was at the RNC, and It Was Something

Written by Kevin Iole at YahooSports.com

UFC president Dana White insisted to Yahoo Sports in December that he was “not a political guy.” This came shortly after he’d appeared on TMZ and said he planned to vote for Donald Trump for president.

But White became a political guy on Tuesday, speaking to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland only days after completing a $4 billion sale of his company.

White extolled Trump’s virtues to the masses at Quicken Loans Arena, literally shouting his support of a man he said is a long-time friend.

“I think that sense of loyalty and commitment will translate into how he will run this country,” White said Tuesday of Trump. “And let’s be honest, we need someone who believes in this country. We need someone who is proud of this country, who will fight for this country. Let me tell you something: I have been in the fight business my whole life. I know fighters.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump is a fighter. And I know Donald Trump will fight for this country. Thank you.”

It was a brief speech that was entirely positive, and which didn’t bash presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or her party.

It was basically a guy standing up for a friend.

It had to be a little awkward for him in several ways. For a year, from the summer of 2008 to the summer of 2009, the biggest enemies in White’s eyes were those who put together Affliction MMA.

When Affliction scheduled its first event, putting legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of its pay-per-view card, White counter-programmed against it. He put a UFC Fight Night card featuring Anderson Silva, one of his biggest stars at the time, on Spike TV opposite the Affliction show in an obvious effort to ruin it.

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Lesnar Failed Two Drug Tests for Same Drug As Jones

Written by Brett Okamoto at ESPN.com

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has notified the UFC of a second failed drug test submitted by former heavyweight champion and WWE star Brock Lesnar.

UFC officials were informed Tuesday that Lesnar, 39, failed a fight night drug test at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. Results showed the presence of the same unidentified banned substance Lesnar tested positive for on June 28.

The substance that Lesnar tested positive for hasn’t been officially identified, but a source told ESPN that the flagged substance is clomiphene, the same anti-estrogen blocker for which Jon Jones tested positive.

Neither of those test results was available to the promotion on July 9, which is how Lesnar (6-3) was still able to fight Mark Hunt at T-Mobile Arena. Lesnar won the fight via unanimous decision.

Lesnar, who is still under contract with the WWE and came out of retirement to face Hunt earlier this month, has not said much on the initial June 28 test. He told The Associated Press last week, “We will get to the bottom of this.”

His appearance at UFC 200 marked Lesnar’s first professional fight since December 2011. His financial purse, as reported to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), was $2.5 million.

Under the UFC’s anti-doping program, which went into effect in July 2015, results management and adjudication of the case falls to USADA, although Lesnar will also be subject to the jurisdiction of the NSAC. The UFC and NSAC withhold the right to fine and suspend Lesnar, in the result of a confirmed doping violation. Lesnar has not publicly disclosed whether he intends to have his B-samples tested.

“It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed,” UFC said in a statement. “The Nevada State Athletic Commission also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed at UFC 200 in Las Vegas.

“Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”

Hunt (12-11-1) was furious following news of Lesnar’s first potential doping violation. Late last week, the 42-year-old demanded Lesnar’s entire paycheck in a social media post. Hunt’s reported purse was $700,000.

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Tebow Not To Speak at RNC

Update from yesterday’s story:

Tim Tebow will not be speaking at the RNC, as we reported yesterday. Tebow, who had just returned from Phillipeans, posted a video on his personal Facebook account, claiming that he had no knowledge of his involvement with the Republican National Convention. In the video Tebow was quoted saying

“I wake up this morning to find out I’m speaking at the Republican National Convention,” said Tebow, who added he had just returned from a mission trip in the Phillippines. “It’s amazing how fast rumors fly. And that’s exactly what this is: a rumor.”

Tebow was one of the most recognizable names on the list of speakers in Cleveland, and many assumed that he would speak, given his conservative beliefs and his known interest in politics. He speaks on this in the video saying:

“My goal has always been to be able to make a difference in the biggest way possible. If one day, it’s the political realm, that’s what I’ll do. But right now, I really believe that it’s through my foundation and our amazing partners and fighting for kids who can’t fight for themselves.”

Tebow was reported to be a speaker on Thursday by the New York Times, and then confirmed by Republican and Trump officials.

This could be two things. 1: It could be another fabricated name in the long line of Trump speakers (see Tom Brady and Bobby Knight) and simply was reported wrongly, or 2: Tebow saw the negative press from associating his name with Trump and decided to pull out of the convention. Either way, the Florida product will not be speaking in Cleveland.

Fear not though, as two other sports figures will be in Cleveland on the 18th, as UFC President, and famed businessman, Dana White, and professional golfer, Natalie Gulbis, will both be speaking at the event.