A few handful of people find it puzzling why the UFC included clips of Conor McGregor’s bus attack in April to promote UFC 229. But according to UFC president Dana White, everything that transpired at UFC 223 is “part of the storyline” between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, which is why the company decided to include and focus on the videos in their promotional materials.
In his recent appearance on Australian news talk show “The Project”, White was grilled by host Waleed Aly about the bus incident that led to UFC 229, which also sparked up a post-fight melee between members of both camps. Aly also questioned White for the manner of which the company has been handling the situation.
“I don’t know if there have been any real punishments handed to those guys,” Aly told White. “Let’s just be totally honest, let’s be real. You love this stuff, and it’s great for promotion, right?”
Aly also asked White why the UFC never sanctioned both Khabib and McGregor, with White simply arguing that the Nevada Athletic Commission already suspended the two.
The outspoken UFC executive may have tried to be as diplomatic as possible during his interview with Aly, but in a separate interview with news.com.au during the GQ Magazine Man of the Year awards this week, White did not hold back his real sentiments about the television personality.
“I think for anybody who would think that that was set up, that we would take our biggest star, get him arrested and get him kicked out of the state of New York — the guy can’t fight in the state of New York any more, which is the biggest gate we ever did with Conor McGregor, which was $18 million,” White explained.
“To even say something like that, you’re completely uneducated about the sport and you’re just trying to be an a–hole.”
“Listen, the guy was trying to be an a–hole, mission accomplished.”
In terms of promotion, UFC 229 was indeed a massive success, drawing a live gate of $17.2 million, the UFC’s second-highest after UFC 205, which drew $17.7 million. The sanctions for the post-fight brawl, however, have yet to be meted out, but are expected to be settled in the Commission hearing on December 10th.