Conor McGregor may be back in a UFC cage soon and Dana White is entering the boxing business.
Those are two of the major storylines coming out of White’s Tuesday night appearance at Wild Card West gym in Santa Monica, California, where he took part in a speaker series with boxing trainer Freddie Roach and director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights” and owner of the gym).
White said he will meet with UFC matchmakers in Las Vegas this week to book the main event for UFC 219, which will take place at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 30.
He imposed a deadline of Friday on himself to make a decision.
It’s possible McGregor could headline the card.
White has indicated the lightweight champion, who has not competed in a UFC bout since November 2016, is interested in fighting before the end of the year.
McGregor could defend the belt against interim champion Tony Ferguson. He has also expressed interest in a third bout against Nate Diaz.
McGregor’s only competition of 2017 was an Aug. 26 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., which both the UFC and McGregor’s new promotional company had a role in putting on.
Apparently, it reignited White’s passion for being involved in the sport that got him involved the business in the first place.
White said at Tuesday’s event he is “100 percent” getting into boxing and is in the process of acquiring his license.
“It’s still early. We’re still working on it,” the UFC president told th Los Angeles Times. “I’ve got to get my (expletive) together, but I’m getting into boxing, man. It’s coming.
“We all know boxing is broken. The question is, how do you fix it? If you think about all the people involved in boxing, not a lot of people make a whole lot of money,” White told the Times. “There’s a handful of guys making all the money and the rest make nothing. If you think about the billions of dollars boxing has brought in, at the end of the day, what’s there? Nothing. Because there’s no brand. There’s a bunch of cowboys.
“Every time there’s a boxing fight, it’s a going-out-of-business sale: ‘Let us get as much money as we can from everybody and let’s get the hell out of here.’ Right? That’s how boxing has always done business. Nobody tries to invest. You think these guys in the boxing business are investing back in the sport? No, they’re not.
“Most of these boxing promoters are middlemen. They don’t risk their own capital, their own money. They get money from HBO or ESPN or Showtime, or in conjunction with these guys on pay-per-view. They don’t even assume the risk on pay-per-view.”
White hopes to take a fresh approach to promoting the sport while maintaining his role as UFC president.
He has hinted often at an interest in returning to boxing, a sport he was involved in as a teenager before buying the mixed martial arts organization with Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta in 2001.
White was spotted wearing a ‘Zuffa Boxing’ T-shirt this summer. Zuffa is the corporate name under which the UFCufc sold review jouranl
did business before it was sold to Hollywood conglomerate WME-IMG in 2016.
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