Dana White has suggested Conor McGregor’s wealth may have played a part in his recent losses.
McGregor was on the dole when he signed for the UFC in 2013 but became it’s biggest star, winning titles in two weight divisions and becoming one of the richest athletes on the planet.
McGregor becoming rich beyond his wildest dreams has coincided with poor form and lengthy absences from the octagon as he travels the world with his family and White said money changes perspectives.
The UFC’s new CEO, who was formerly president, joined Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV and was asked whether recent losses effects ticket sales when it comes to the man known as ‘Notorious’.
White said: “Once a certain level of money is attained, to be the person that you were coming up, to be that hungry, work that hard and be that dedicated to the sport – or whatever craft you do – money changes everything and Conor McGregor had made that kind of money.”
McGregor has been a fixture on Forbes’ highest paid lists for a number of years and topped the 2021 charts with an estimated $180m that year.
The salary and endorsements have helped him buy his customised Lamborghini yacht and own super cars galore and wear expensive suits among other things.
“The hunger and the drive is not the same,” White added on the impact of having it all. “Everything Conor McGregor ever dreamed of, and stuff he couldn’t possibly dream of in his life – he has right now.
“It’s tough to be on a yacht all summer and then say, ‘Oh, I’ve got to get back in the gym and start grinding again.’”
McGregor has lost his last two fights, to rival Dustin Poirier, yet hasn’t fought since breaking his leg in the trilogy bout with Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.
His last win was in 2020 when his astonishing knockout blew Donald Cerrone away in less than a minute, but he is fully fit and talking up his return.
UFC lightweight contender Beneil Dariush suffered a similar injury and has questioned why McGregor is still sidelined when he was back in action after just six months.
‘Mystic Mac’ is booked to face Michael Chandler and has repeatedly predicted their scrap will take place at UFC 296 in Las Vegas on December 16.
Meanwhile, White is a lot less optimistic about McGregor returning in 2023 and has instead suggested the Irishman is likely to fight in the first few months of 2024.
McGregor is yet to re-enter the US Anti-Doping testing pool, and that appears to be holding things up as the people tasked with keeping the UFC clean want him to undergo six months of random drug tests before fighting again.
Ultimately, the UFC could skip that process and just test McGregor a couple of times before his return, but it’s currently unclear if White and the top brass will exercise that power.
Despite the fact he may never be the same fighter again, the former featherweight and lightweight titleholder is undoubtedly the biggest draw in the sport and his next fight will attract millions of viewers.
Exactly when McGregor will face Chandler should be revealed soon.
Watch the full interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored on Thursday 14 September at 8pm only on TalkTV – in the UK on Sky (522), Virgin Media (606), Freeview (237), Freesat (217) and Sky Glass (508)