UFC President Dana White has a message for athletes on the roster: “you’re not a money fight.” Speaking to Fox Sports after the 209 weigh-ins on Friday, White said he was tired of the term “money fight” in a heated comment about athletes trying to land big fights.
“Conor is the guy. Conor brings in big gates, big pay-per-view numbers, and everything else,” White said. “Shut up if you don’t. If you’re not him, shut up. Okay?”
White’s comment was directed at athletes on the roster who are drumming for a big fight, and those comments usually lead to Conner McGregor’s name being uttered, says the UFC president.
“You’re gonna make whatever you’re gonna make, and if you’re a good champion and your fight sells, you’re gonna do pay-per-views,” White told Fox Sports.
McGregor has arguably brought the most attention to the UFC in the history of the sport. Naturally, other fighters want to challenge him and cash in on a million dollar opportunity. But White says not everyone is on McGregor’s level, and athletes need to earn their way to the top.
Another problem, the UFC president says, is fighters are unable to bring in the big numbers, so they need another fighter – i.e. McGregor – to do it for them.
Fighters like Michael Bisping, Cody Garbrandt and Tyron Woodley have all expressed interest in money fights after winning their respective titles. But White says it’s just not that easy.
Still, even fighters who, on paper, have earned their way to a money fight – like Bisping, who has 20 victories under his belt – big pay-per-view fights won’t come easy. Bisping hasn’t proven to be a big pay-per-view draw.
White says fighters should be trying to find their own way, and turn themselves into profitable fighters instead of building their career on the back of someone else.