Former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor is far and away the biggest star in MMA history. He’s been an absolute gold mine for the UFC, having headlined a great many of the promotion’s biggest pay-per-views.
Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up this week, UFC President Dana White admitted that, because Conor McGregor is such a valuable asset to the UFC, he gets away with more than any of his peers would. You know, like throwing dollies through bus windows and injuring other fighters severely enough that they’re forced to withdraw from their fights.
“Conor works very well with us. We’ve worked very well with him,” White said (transcript via MMA Weekly). “There are obviously certain things you have to deal with, with a Conor McGregor.”
“He’s worth it,” White added. “For example, the New York thing. The fact that he thought he could come here and have this beef with Khabib in the middle of New York City and the way that it was done, that’s obviously the craziest thing. Normal, typical stuff for Conor — showing up an hour late for the press conference.”
Conor McGregor will return to the cage on October 6, when he battles undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 229.
Conor McGregor has not competed since August of 2017, when he came up short in a headline-dominating boxing match with undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. His most recent MMA bout occurred in November of 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to capture the UFC lightweight title. Because he still held the UFC featherweight title he swiped from Jose Aldo at the time, this made him the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes concurrently. He’s 21-3 overall.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, last fought in April when he captured the UFC lightweight title with a lopsided decision triumph over short-notice replacement opponent Al Iaquinta. The title was quietly stripped from the long absent McGregor on the same night. With this title win over Iaquinta, Nurmagomedov improved to a flawless 26-0 overall — one of the most impressive records in MMA.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/26/2018.