FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/13: White offers $25 million to Mayweather plus PPV points to fight McGregor (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 202 (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today Sports)

Dana White fired back at Floyd Mayweather for offering to pay McGregor $15 million to fight in a boxing match.

Appearing on FS1’s “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd, White blasted Mayweather for not contacting him directly to set up the fight and proposed his own offer. “I’ll tell you what, Floyd,” White said. “Here’s a real offer, and I’m the guy that can actually make the offer, and I’m actually making a real offer. We’ll pay you $25 million, we’ll pay Conor $25 million, and then we’ll talk about pay-per-view at a certain number. There’s a real offer.”

White also claimed that Mayweather is asking for this fight because he knows it’ll pay massive dividends and he criticized the boxer’s star power, citing his most recent PPV numbers. “To think that you’re the ‘A’ side? How are you the ‘A’ side? The last major fight that you were in, you left such a bad taste in everybody’s mouth, nobody wants to see you again,” White said. “His last fight did 350,000 pay-per-view buys. Conor’s last (two fights), Conor did 1.3 and 1.5 million buys, so I don’t understand how you think you’re the ‘A’ side. There’s a reason you want this Conor fight so bad – because you know that’s your money fight.”

The UFC President said that if the prospect of Mayweather vs. McGregor fight garners enough excitement and support, he’d find a way to make it happen and make it worthwhile for the fans. “We like making fights that people are interested in,” White said. “We like putting on entertainment events, whatever. As long as the people who buy the pay-per-view or bought the tickets are excited with what happened that night, how do you lose? In my opinion, do I think Conor McGregor would be the best fight you’ve ever seen? Probably not, but it would be pretty damn exciting. But, I’m going to build an entire card underneath it, so you’re guaranteed to at least get your money’s worth, unlike the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.”

Conor McGregor does not currently have a fight scheduled and is expected to be out of competition for several months.

Cervantes Analysis: Initially I thought this would remain back and forth banter between Mayweather and McGregor, but to have White make a counteroffer is intriguing, especially considering he once said it wouldn’t happen. Still, the back end of the PPV revenue is what will likely kill this deal because Mayweather will no doubt want more than what the UFC is willing to grant, especially as WME/IMG seeks to get their return on the $4 billion investment they made. Impressive that McGregor was able to generate this kind of interest and responses from Mayweather and the UFC brass but, I just don’t think this is gonna happen.


-Mayweather told TMZ that Dana White is a “comedian,” after being asked about Whites’s counteroffer to pay Mayweather and McGregor $25 million to fight.

-B.J. Penn told MMA Fighting his goal is to earn a third world title. He won the UFC Welterweight Title 13 years ago this month and the UFC Lightweight Title 9 years ago this month.

-UFC Fight Night took a big hit when the NFL rescheduled the early afternoon Sunday playoff game for Sunday night instead, due to weather concerns. That is going to slice a big chunk off of the FS1 viewership total.

-Anderson Silva is scheduled to face Derek Brunson at UFC 208.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/12: Mayweather says he’ll fight McGregor, but would UFC be interested (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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