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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Is Dana White out of the Mayweather-McGregor Negotiations?

June 14, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Dana White UFC Dana White's

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to bring you the unbiased opinions of what is fact and what is fiction in this biosphere we call professional mixed martial arts. Thank you, for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and encouraged. Last week, I stepped in on short notice to fill in for Todd Vote against the crafty, Evan Zivin. We locked horns over the differences between Conor McGregor’s and Max Holloway’s wins against Jose Aldo, Marlon Moraes’ UFC debut, and Demetrious Johnson holding his chin up to the UFC in addition to other subjects. Evan pushed the pace early with solid combinations. I was able to counter between his offensive burst and make it a fight but when the dust settled, Evan was able to grab a close fought victory. Congratulations, Evan, on your 19-to-18 victory and thank you for your contribution.

This week, Dan Plunkett and Alex Rella look to put on a barnburner of a fight as they lock horns over who is the current pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, who deserves the first shot at Max Holloway’s featherweight strap, a potential Mark Hunt vs. Junior dos Santos rematch, and much more! Grab some grub and make yourself comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s get this show on the road…

“Handsome” Dan Plunkett
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone


Alex “Little Mac” Rella
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone

Dana White hit the nail on the head; Conor McGregor is currently the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and not Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION Going up in weight and finding great success demonstrates the abilities that makes one a top pound-for-pound fighter but does not necessarily make one the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Conor McGregor lost to Nate Diaz a little more than one year ago. A little less than one year ago, he barely got past Nate Diaz. He destroyed Jose Aldo for the featherweight title, but then he never defended it. He dominated unlikely champion Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, but he has yet to defend it. Conor McGregor has obviously achieved unbelievable feats and is an excellent fighter, but he only has five fights against the very best fighters in the world. His body of work at the highest level is neither long enough nor encompassing enough for me to call him the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. There are a number of opponents in the lightweight division that I believe would give McGregor real problems, while other top pound-for-pound candidates may only have one or two such opponents, along with a longer history of domination to strengthen their case.

Demetrious Johnson is not in the strongest division, but there is no more dominant top-level fighter than him. He has beaten contender after contender for five years, and he is about as flawless as a fighter gets in this day and age. I think his case for being the pound-for-pound best in the world stands on much sturdier footing than McGregor’s.

Alex Rella: FICTION There is never going to be one fighter that everyone agrees is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, it’s a made up ranking. That being said, I personally believe Mighty Mouse is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and not Conor McGregor. Johnson has been the most dominant fighter in the world since he won the title in 2012. He’s won 12 straight since dropping down to 125 and that includes his record-tying 10 title defenses. He’s been so incredible that there have only been a handful of moments in those 12 fights that he was actually in danger. His title reign has been pure dominance.

I do understand the logic though if someone were to believe McGregor is the best pound-for-pound fighter as he had success across multiple divisions by winning the 145 & 155-pound titles and he defeated Nate Diaz at 170 lbs, I just don’t agree with it. I also don’t think White’s comments are genuine. He stated Mighty Mouse was the top pound-for-pound fighter after he defeated Wilson Reis back in April. Now he’s changing his tune because those two are arguing and he also wants to build Conor up for his potential fight with Mayweather. But yes, I believe Mighty Mouse is currently the best fighter in the world.

Cub Swanson’s last two wins—both fight of night performances—make him the frontrunner over Frankie Edgar for who gets the first crack at Max Holloway’s featherweight strap.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION Max Holloway and Cub Swanson fought two years ago. Holloway won the first two rounds and then submitted Swanson in the third round. Swanson has won four fights since that point, but none were over established top featherweights. For those reasons, I have little interest in seeing Swanson fight Holloway at this stage, and very much doubt he is next in line. Frankie Edgar, who dominated Swanson in November 2014, has not lost to anybody in the featherweight division not named Jose Aldo. He is among the greatest lighter-weight fighters of all-time and represents a fresh and interesting challenge for Holloway. Edgar should get the next shot.

Alex Rella: FICTION Sorry Cub, but not at all. Swanson is on a nice 4 fight winning streak, but he lost back to back fights to Edgar and Holloway before that. Plus he got finished by both fighters. Edgar is 7-2 since dropping down to 145 and both losses were to Aldo. Edgar is the better fighter, the bigger draw, it’s a fresh matchup, and he beat Swanson bad. Barring an injury, I don’t see anyway Swanson is the front runner over Frankie Edgar.

Al Iaquinta should ignore Evan Dunham’s call out and wait for an opponent with a bigger name value.

Dan Plunkett: FACT Al Iaquinta has significantly raised his name value and stock over the past few months. Evan Dunham is on a roll in the cage, but as far as name value goes, he peaked seven years ago when the judges took a hard-earned win away from him against Sean Sherk. If I’m Iaquinta, I’d rather fight someone like the winner of Kevin Lee vs. Michael Chiesa, both of whom have more momentum than Dunham.

Alex Rella: FICTION The fight itself makes perfect sense, but I doubt it will actually happen since Iaquinta has been on a two-year long rant about how the UFC owes him the world. They’re both top 15 lightweights on nice winning streaks with victories over some of the same fighters. It would be good for both fighters as well given where they are in their careers. Dunham can be the company guy that takes out the surging arrogant fighter and it would be a legit top opponent for Iaquinta. While Iaquinta is on a nice run, he’s knocked out some older veterans and he got a very questionable win over Jorge Masvidal. The winner of this fight would move into the top 10 rankings and get a much bigger fight the next time around. I don’t know if it actually happens, but I would make the fight.


Claims that Dana White is not part of the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather negotiations are likely false as WME-IMG lacks the experience in such an arena and would need the help of White to get the correct deal done.

Alex Rella: FACT I’ve seen different reports saying that he is involved and those saying he isn’t. I believe that he is a part of the negotiations for a couple reasons. Like the questions states, WME-IMG lacks the experience to make such a huge fight. So while White has many shortcomings, he has years of experience when it comes to booking blockbuster fights. White could be the middleman the negotiations need. But most importantly, I believe White is involved in the negotiations because Conor McGregor is under an exclusive UFC contract. This fight does not happen unless they give him permission to fight. So it makes the UFC would need a voice at the table to protect their interests, and most likely to make sure they get their financial cut as well. White talks a big game and has a huge ego, but I don’t see how this fight happens without him being a part of negotiations.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION I have no reason to doubt LA Times reporter Lance Pugmire and Jeremy Botter. Plus, Dana White denied it, which pretty much confirms it. I would think Lorenzo Fertitta, who still owns a small piece of Zuffa and has been called upon at least once post-sale to make a deal, would be better suited for the task anyway.

Demetrious Johnson is in no way tarnishing his legacy by not accepting a title fight against T.J. Dillashaw.

Alex Rella: FACT Absolutely. Like I stated previously, Johnson has been almost untouchable since moving down to 125 lbs. Most people believe him to be the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world (see the previous question) and he will make history with one more title defense. I truly do not believe rejecting this fight will tarnish his legacy. Whether you agree with it or not, Johnson has thoroughly explained his reasoning in his official statement. To summarize his argument, he doesn’t want to fight TJ because he feels the UFC is bullying him and does not respect him. If what he says is true, then Johnson has every right to turn down the fight. Fighters far less successful and talented than him have refused to take a fight. Johnson is one of the greatest fighters of all time, turning down a fight against someone who has never competed in his division before will not tarnish his legacy.

Dan Plunkett: FACT In rare instances, something like turning down an opponent can become a key aspect of a fighter’s story and therefore affects their legacy (think Tito Ortiz with the first Chuck Liddell fight), but in most cases it’s simply forgotten and has no effect whatsoever. Dan Severn was the UFC super fight champion and reigning Ultimate Ultimate champion, but he didn’t want to compete in the Ultimate Ultimate ’96 tournament. Mark Coleman wanted more money to fight Marco Ruas, and the fight fell apart. Despite coming close on a few different occasions, Frank Shamrock could never quite come to a deal with Pride to fight Sakuraba. How many fights has Anderson Silva turned down? Things like this are typically fleeting memories. It would be one thing if Johnson were avoiding a top contender out of fear he would lose, but no rational observer believes that.

A rematch between Mark Hunt and Junior dos Santos makes zero sense at this moment due to the fact Hunt is coming off a win while JDS is coming off a devastating loss.

Alex Rella: FACT I agree that the rematch makes zero sense, but I disagree with the reasoning. Despite JDS coming off a loss and Hunt recently getting a win, I don’t think a rematch makes sense looking at where they are in the rankings. JDS is still coming off of a title shot and is one of the best heavyweights in the world. His rumored matchup with Francis Ngannou makes more sense as he is attempting to stay in title contention. Hunt is a little lower in the rankings and his chin isn’t what it used to be at 43. I think he would be better suited going up against someone a little less dangerous in the top 15 rankings like Timothy Johnson or the winner of Arlovski/Tybura. Then depending on the outcomes of their next fights, you can look at making the rematch. But as of right now, I think the fight makes zero sense.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION I don’t think that fact that one fighter just lost while the other fighter just won automatically disqualifies any potential fight. The UFC may want to throw Hunt or dos Santos in there with Francis Ngannou (personally, I’d give Ngannou one more fight before giving him a Hunt or dos Santos caliber fighter), but a rematch between Hunt and dos Santos isn’t a terrible option. At the very least, it’s a viable television headliner and a strong live headliner in New Zealand, Australia, or Brazil. If it makes cents, it at least makes a bit of sense.

So who won? Did Alex get the upset or was Dan the better man? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!

And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

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