Should Dana White take harsh action against Conor McGregor? Aaron Crider makes the case that White needs to retake control of the UFC.
It’s almost like the ending of Mary Shelly’s classic Frankenstein, all that’s left if for the good doctor to put an end to his creation.
Conor McGregor’s actions on Thursday have provided major setbacks in what was to be one of the best UFC cards this year. “The Notorious” attacked a bus full of UFC fighters on their way to media day ahead of Saturday’s card at the Barclays Center.
Reports say that McGregor attacked the bus after finding out UFC lightweight title challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov was on the bus. Nurmagomedov had a confrontation with McGregor teammate Artem Lobov, which forced the latter off of UFC 223.
What was going to be a loaded card full of fantastic fights changed significantly, with Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg off the card as a direct effect of McGregor’s attack.
Chiesa had multiple lacerations to his face and Borg’s cornea was damaged after McGregor threw a hand dolly through the bus window.
None of this should come as a surprise, as UFC president Dana White has let his favorite star do as he pleases for the last several years.
McGregor is responsible for his own actions, he’s an adult fully capable of making his own decisions. But White is to blame for how out of control “The Notorious” has gotten in recent years.
Since winning the UFC featherweight belt McGregor has:
- Not defended his belt but jumped up weight to fight Rafel dos Anjos at welterweight.
- When that fight fell through, McGregor fought Nate Diaz and lost instead of defending his belt.
- Rematched Diaz at welterweight, won by decision and again, did not defend his belt.
- In between the two Diaz fights, McGregor was fined $130,000 for throwing water bottles and a can of Monster Energy at Diaz’s crew. The fine was reduced to $25,000 with 25 hours of community service attached to it. Really a slap on the wrist and no repercussions from the UFC or White.
- Challenged and successful defeated Eddie Alvarez at lightweight for the UFC lightweight belt, did not defend his featherweight title
- Took an extended break while holding two belts to await the birth of his son.
- When he came back into action he chose not to fight either at featherweight or lightweight in the UFC, but talked White into a mega boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Has been stripped off both belts without ever once stepping into the cage to defend either weigh class.
White prides himself on been a tough, brash promoter. A president that runs his company with a no-nonsense attitude, but when it comes to star fighters that facade goes the wayside.
He’s done it with Jon Jones until it became too painful and too risky to stay on Bones’ side and not look stupid.
Ronda Rousey got special treatment as long as the she continued to obliterate the competition and make money for the promotion.
We are still no closer to knowing whether “Rowdy” is going to retire or not, and, compared to recent events, that seems like something very low on the list, no matter how evasive Rousey, White and her entourage are on the subject.
Now is the time for White to lay down the law and remind McGregor and other fighters who is in charge. This is a business and every fighter represents that business. But just because you are one of the top fighters in the promotion you should not be granted special treatment.
The relationship between McGregor and White is more of a bromance than an employee-employer.
Right now, White is letting his friend/employee sweat it out and take care of the charges himself without any help from the promotion. Yet, White is staying tight lipped on what he plans to do with the Irishman.
On Friday White told ESPN “It’s out of character for Conor McGregor and any of my fighters. Listen, crazy things happen in sports…In the history of the UFC, this is definitely the worst thing ever that’s happened…This is Conor McGregor. This is not the Conor McGregor that I know.”
“Obviously, the big question everybody’s been asking me is, ‘Are you firing Conor McGregor?'” White told ESPN. “This is bigger than Conor McGregor getting fired. There are so many more moving pieces to this thing.”
White is right that crazy things happen in sports. There are a number of NFL players getting into trouble with domestic disputes, drugs and other nasty out of competition things. Sometimes the League deals with those problematic individuals the right way, sometimes they try to sweep it away, but that doesn’t mean that the UFC has to look the other way on this one.
It needs to take it on directly and do right by the fighters who got hurt when they shouldn’t have.
This is exactly who Conor McGregor is and has been allowed to be, and this isn’t bigger than McGregor getting fired — it is about McGregor getting fired.
If White can have a meltdown about Roy Nelson “kicking” John McCarthy on the butt because of a supposed late call, then he should downright explode over the mess that McGregor has caused.
However, I don’t think White has the same conviction good Dr. Frankenstein had when it comes to confronting his monster.