Dana White on discussing replacement options with Conor McGregor for UFC 196: “He said he’d fight any of them”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Dana White (photo credit Gary Vazquez © USA Today Sports)

“When we told Conor, he said, ‘Come on! This [expletive] guy! Oh my God! He’s pulling out?’ But when we went through the options, he said he’d fight any of them. I swear to God, he said, ‘I’ll fight anyone.’ He just doesn’t give a [expletive]. People talk about this strained relationship between us and Conor, and he has a different style than I’ve ever seen, but I have never seen anyone like Conor. The closest was Chuck Liddell, but we’ve never had one like Conor. You think he’s not hurt? But when he says he’s going to fight, he’s going to fight no matter what… Ali [Abdelaziz] is so full of [expletive]. What are we going to do, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] hasn’t fought in two years and we’re going to bring him in to save the show? Besides, Khabib has a fight and we gave that to Fox. It’s amazing, to be honest with you. All of these managers are out there jockeying and they say they want to fight Conor. You hear these guys screaming, ‘Conor, Conor, Conor,’ but then when it comes time to take a fight, they turn it down and they’re hurt.”

-Dana White talks to Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports about Rafael dos Anjos’ injury removal from UFC 196 and Conor McGregor’s reaction, along with refuting the idea that Khabib Nurmagomedov was ever considered as an option to step in.

Penick’s Analysis: It seems McGregor’s remaining on the card for sure, and now it’s just a matter of what form the fight will take. The UFC appears to be planning for it at lightweight, though whether an Interim Title is made for show or not remains to be seen. It would be ridiculous given dos Anjos is expected to need just six weeks of recovery and defended the title in December, but it can’t be put past them given they did the same thing last summer when Jose Aldo got hurt before UFC 189. Regardless, McGregor has made clear he’s got no problem fighting just about anyone, and this would remain in line with that philosophy.

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