‘I Knew It That Night’- Dana White Details the Moment He Met Conor McGregor and Everything Changed

Published 06/23/2021, 8:51 AM EDT


UFC President Dana White sat down with Arthur Kade from BroBible ahead of the UFC blockbuster pay-per-view set for July. UFC 264 on July 10 is headlined by Conor McGregor who is attempting to bounce back from his loss to Dustin Poirier. The rubber match is going to be one for the ages and McGregor is looking to turn back the clock.

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While talking about the company’s workings through the pandemic, Dana White was asked about his first meeting with McGregor. The long-time boss of the organization has seen it all and promoted hundreds of fighters throughout his tenure. However, White has gone on record to say that his first meeting with Conor McGregor told him that he’d be a superstar.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 21: (R-L) Conor McGregor of Ireland shakes hands with UFC President Dana White during the UFC 257 press conference event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 21, 2021 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“I went to dinner when we first signed him, he flew out here to Vegas and he and I went to dinner. It was my first real interaction with him. When I left that dinner, I called my partner Lorenzo [Fertitta] and said ‘Let me tell you what, I don’t know if this kid can fight or not. But if he can even throw a punch, he’s going to be a massive superstar.’

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“I knew it that night when I was with him. His personality, the energy around this kid. I’d never met anybody like him. The closest thing to it was Ronda. So, I knew.”

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Conor McGregor: In a league of his own

Given the way McGregor stormed the gates of the UFC, it was evident that the organization was backing him. Early on, he proved that he had what it took to change the fight game, and it’s hard to deny that he hasn’t done so. Since the McGregor era truly kicked off, star power has become a legitimate currency in the UFC.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Conor McGregor prepares for his welterweight bout against Donald Cerrone during UFC246 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Despite suffering some disheartening setbacks inside the octagon, Conor McGregor remains the biggest draw on the roster. Win, Lose or Draw, fans want to witness McGregor’s walkout every time his music hits. Not to mention, his ability to nearly top the Forbes List every year certainly helps with his cache amongst fans.

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Once again, the world will be watching as Conor McGregor looks to bounce back from his first-ever TKO defeat in MMA. A statement win over Poirier at UFC 264 will go a long way in further bolstering his star power.

Read this story: UFC Champions Who Never Successfully Defended Their Belts 

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Darryl Pinto

1797 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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