Former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor recently announced his retirement from professional MMA competition.
One thing McGregor asked for before that announcement was an equity share in the UFC, which is something UFC President Dana White says will never happen.
“You know, I was surprised,” White told TMZ Sports (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “It came out of nowhere last night. A lot of people were speculating that it was posturing because of negotiations but we really haven’t been negotiating that hard. He said that in Chicago, I saw that and he sent me a text, but we’ve really never had a bad conversation with Conor McGregor since he’s been in the UFC. He went back and he said I feel like I should own a piece of the company. And I said, ‘Conor, you know that’s never gonna happen. But this was a couple weeks ago. And then last night when he did that - listen, I don’t know why everybody’s so shocked about it. When you think about it, ever since the Floyd Mayweather fight, you don’t know if this guy’s ever gonna fight again. He’s fought twice since he won in 2016.”
This wasn’t the first time that McGregor has demanded an equity share in the UFC, as the fighter has brought up the issue multiple times in the past.
White says that the UFC will continue to move on, even as current or past stars find their careers at an end.
“I’ve been hearing that for 20 years,” White said. “I’ve been hearing that when every star is coming to the end of their career. People have been saying that to me for 20 years. When we sold the company, ‘Ari paid too much and the UFC is dead now! They’re not gonna get a television deal!’ I hear this stuff everyday. First of all, nobody knows what we’re working on. Nobody knows anything about this sport. Nobody! Not even the so-called experts because all this stuff is new. The things that we’re doing - we’ve been the trailblazers in this business for the last 20 years and we’re gonna be for the next 20 years too. The stuff that we’re working on is so huge and so next level and it’s amazing when we have stars like Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva and Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. But it’s part of sports. There will be others.”
Equity in the UFC may be the last thing on McGregor’s mind right now, as the fighter is currently being investigated for an alleged sexual assault that apparently happened this past December.