“Listen, Conor McGregor is a competitor,” White told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “All you’ve got to do is look. The guy has a ton of money. He doesn’t need to fight anymore. He wants to fight. He’s a fighter to the core. What’s at stake is, yes, he wants to be back on top. He goes in there and beats the No. 1 guy in the world, he’s probably going to get the next title shot. The other thing Conor McGregor likes probably more than competition is money. When he fights, he makes a shitload of money. These are all still very important things to him at this point in his life.”
White said the winner of the UFC 264 main event between McGregor (22-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Dustin Poirier (27-6 MMA, 20-6 UFC) will receive the next crack at lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, Yahoo Sports reports.
White said, beyond the title shot, he isn’t sure what other routes the organization will take with McGregor. He mentioned there are options, including the Nate Diaz trilogy.
“I don’t think about anything with Conor until after Saturday,” White said. “Because you never know where this kid’s head is and what he’s thinking. He’s a fighter, man. I used to say about him all the time, a lot of people like to criticize and this and that. I’ve been in the living room. I’ve been on the phone when we’re standing in front of the kid saying, ‘Your opponent fell out and blah, blah, blah.’”
White said he knows who McGregor is as a fighter and that he’s always willing to fight.
“I know who Conor McGregor is on the fight side. You have a lot of guys who talk a lot of shit publicly,” White said. “Most of it’s not true. The thing is with Conor McGregor is this guy has always stepped up and been willing to fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. He’s extremely wealthy. The question is, ‘How much more of this does he want? How hungry is he?’ We’ll find out on Saturday night. Win, lose, or draw, we’ll find out probably a couple weeks after that what he wants to do next.”
UFC 264 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.
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