By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – As surprisingly competitive as Conor McGregor was at times against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Dana White was in no mood to entertain the idea of other UFC fighters trying boxing.
When asked during the press conference following McGregor’s 10th-round technical knockout loss to Mayweather how UFC heavyweight champion Miocic Stipe would fare against a heavyweight boxer, White wouldn’t even consider it. UFC’s president made it clear that he made an exception for McGregor to box Mayweather because it was such a lucrative, well-received event, yet he has not plans to allow more UFC fighters to take that route.
“I don’t even wanna talk about my other guys in a boxing match,” White said. “This was one of those, you know, two big superstars. This thing built from the bottom, up, from the fans to the media, and then up to us, when we even started remotely considering something like this. It was just a real special event and a rare – it’s a rare event. I’m not looking to do this again.”
Mayweather-McGregor might’ve done enough pay-per-view, ticket and other business to exceed the approximate $600 million generated by the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in May 2015. The 29-year-old McGregor performed much better against Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) than most experts predicted, too, but White wants McGregor to focus on his mixed martial arts career now that he has made a career-high payday that could eclipse $100 million for facing the best boxer of this generation.
And now that the Mayweather-McGregor hype machine has been turned off, White also is looking forward to shifting his business focus solely on UFC.
“I’m ready to get back to the UFC,” White said, “and do what I do.”
White was pleasantly surprised, though, by his positive experience in the boxing business. He commended Mayweather’s team and Showtime employees for helping make this extremely rare joint effort between boxing and mixed martial arts a smooth, extraordinarily profitable process.
“These guys were amazing to work with,” White said. “No bullsh*t. You know me – these guys were awesome. Team Mayweather, Al Haymon, much respect. These guys were – like I said, I was expecting something completely different coming in to work with these guys because of how long it took to make the Pacquiao fight. But I can tell you it wasn’t this time. That I can promise you. These guys have been fantastic.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.