TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/19: Dana White to stay on as UFC President for seven years, Conor McGregor willing to step back to co-main slot in exchange for UFC ownership, more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Sep 20, 2018; New York, NY, USA; UFC president Dana White and Conor McGregor during a press conference for UFC 229 at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Seven more years

Any speculation that Dana White’s time with new UFC ownership would be short-lived went out the window as he has announced that he has signed on to remain as UFC president for seven more years.

White shared the news in an interview with Megan Olivi posted to UFC’s YouTube page on Monday (watch here). White will remain in his position through the end of UFC’s new contract with ESPN which was also extended until the end of 2025.

When UFC was sold to WME-IMG, now Endeavor, back in 2016, many top executives left the company, some voluntarily, some not. White staying on was part of the deal, but many wondered how he would cope with having new bosses who weren’t his lifelong friends. It’s turned out he’s managing well with the shift and is staying with the company.

“So [I’m] here for seven years, ESPN’s here for seven years and the incredible things that we’re going to work on, I just can’t even tell you how pumped I am for all of this stuff,” White told Olivi in the interview.

Fair share

One thing Dana White is going to have to work on now that he’s sticking with the company is getting top star Conor McGregor back into the cage. McGregor said over the weekend that he’s negotiating for a July return, but we know from history that it’s all talk until an official announcement is made.

BJPenn.com writer Mike Pendleton shared a video Monday night of McGregor standing on a bar at a Proper Twelve promotional event on Friday speaking to some people about his thoughts on not being in a UFC main event. Some reports were out recently that the potential fight between McGregor and Donald Cerrone was stalled because McGregor baulked at being put in the co-main event position, second from the top.

“If UFC wants to slot me in that co-main event, if they want to use me in the co-main event to boost their brand or another fighter that they have, I have no problem with that,” McGregor can be heard saying in the video. “Give me my rightful shares in the UFC company, that’s all I ask.”

McGregor has asked for an ownership stake in the company before. He hasn’t received it, but he did receive some level of co-promotion status for his UFC 229 fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov with his McGregor Sports and Entertainment company being featured prominently at the event.

UFC has shown this week by moving all of their U.S. pay-per-views to ESPN+ that they are willing to make bold moves, but this is one that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Tuesday Notebook

-Andrew Leone is out of the ONE FC flyweight tournament and will be replaced by Senzo Ikeda.

-Mike Shipman is out of his Bellator 218 bout with Hracho Darpinyan. No replacement will be named so Jeremy Hardy vs. Rudy Schaffroth is moving from the prelims to the main card.

Fight of the Day

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