UFC president, Dana White has heaped praise on former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor for how loyal he has acted during his seven-year tenure with the organization, however, maintained that Dubliner was a “f*cking handful” to deal with.

McGregor, the promotion’s former undisputed featherweight and lightweight champion, most recently headlined UFC 264 in July of this year, suffering both a first round doctor’s stoppage loss to former interim lightweight titleholder, Dustin Poirier, as well as a fractured left tibia.

Expected to be sidelined until the summer of next year, ahead of an impending lightweight division return, the 33-year-old has claimed that he plans to return to full mixed martial arts sparring in April, ahead of a return in the early part of next summer.

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Conor McGregor continues to welcome a lightweight title siege against champion Charles Oliveira

The Straight Blast Gym mainstay has also voiced his interest in sharing the Octagon against defending lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira in his immediate return to active competition. And the Sao Paulo native has thoroughly welcomed that pairing, claiming only a “fool” would reject the sort of payday which comes with a fight against the Crumlin native.

Speaking on loyalty within the promotion recently during a sitdown with Teddy Atlas on THE FIGHT – White maintained that McGregor, and a slew of other former champions had been incredibly loyal to him, but also claimed that the former was a handful to deal with.

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There’s been a lot of fighters that have been incredibly loyal to me and I’ve een incredibly loyal to them,” White said. “Conor McGregor’s one of them, Conor’s a f*cking handful, boy, but when you look at the way fighters are built, they’re different to everybody else on this planet.

The Ronda Rouseys, Chuck Liddells, Matt Hughes, Conor McGregor, I don’t want to not mention people but there’s been a lot of fighters over the last 20 years that have been very loyal,” White continued. (Transcribed by TheMacLife)

Responding to White’s comments, McGregor’s labelled the longtime promotional leader, his brother on his official Twitter account. 

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My brother for life, Dana White! (love heart emoji),” Conor McGregor tweeted

Before his July loss to Poirier, McGregor suffered the first knockout loss of his professional mixed martial arts career, in the form of a second round stoppage loss to Poirier at UFC 257 on ‘Fight Island’ in January.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.