UFC President Dana White holds Conor McGregor in very high regard.
He holds him in such high regard that he considers the Irishman his version of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. White was recently part of a FOX News feature in which he discussed “The Notorious.”
White said that he knew McGregor would become a star immediately after having dinner with him for the first time (quotes via MMA Mania):
“He’s my [Muhammad] Ali. He’s my [Mike] Tyson,” White said. “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.”
A Lofty Comparison
McGregor has been mentioned in the same breath as Ali and Tyson before. White mentioned McGregor’s gift of gab reminded him of the former heavyweight boxing champion:
”He is the greatest mental warfare fighter I have ever met,” he said. “Ever. The best. He doesn’t just fuck with the guys he’s going to fight. He fucks with everybody.
“I know it’s sacrilege to compare anybody to Muhammad Ali in anything in the fight business. You don’t ever want to be comparing people to Muhammad Ali, but he’s the only one who comes to mind when it comes to the mental warfare that Conor wages.”
McGregor’s Octagon return is set. The former champ will challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight championship atthe UFC 229 on pay-per-view (PPV) on October 6 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC in nearly two years. In his absence he has been stripped of two UFC titles – featherweight and lightweight. He’ll attempt to re-scale the lightweight mountaintop.