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Dana White Calls Rumors of Why Brock Lesnar Didn’t Return to the UFC ‘Absolutely False,’ Says Conor McGregor Can Play the Game the Way He Wants to Now

June 8, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Brock Lesnar - Stipe Miocic

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto spoke with UFC President Dana White this week ahead of UFC 238, which is set for later today at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Below is a video of the chat, where he addressed Brock Lesnar opting not to take another fight with the UFC and the status of former champion Conor McGregor.

When Okamoto asked White if the UFC’s recent moving of pay-per-view events was the cause of not being able to reach new fight deals with Brock Lesnar, who opted to remain in the UFC, and former champion Conor McGregor, who recently announced his second retirement from MMA in March.

White claimed that talk and rumors were false. He stated, “Completely not true. That’s absolutely false. And if you really look at — when we were on pay-per-view, when we were on traditional pay-per-view, everybody was talking about how the pay-per-view business was dying. It’s dying and nobody can pull numbers anymore.”

He continued, “Really? We were still pulling five to seven million pay-per-view buys a year when we were on the dying, traditional pay-per-view. You can’t listen to any of this noise.” He went on regarding Lesnar, “That’s [ESPN PPV deal] not why Brock Lesnar didn’t fight. Brock Lesnar got a better deal is basically what happened for Brock.”

Regarding Conor McGregor, he added, “Then Conor McGregor, what did I say leading up to the [Floyd] Mayweather/McGregor fight? [Okamoto: ‘That he might never fight again.’] Did I not say that? And how many times has he fought since then? Once. OK. Conor is in a very unique position as a fighter. He has tons of money. His whiskey business is off the charts as a fighter. There are a lot of things. Conor now has the ability to be very calculated, sit back, and play the game the way he wants to. There’s so much more to this than what people ‘speculate.'”