UFC president Dana White says he hasn’t spoken to Conor McGregor since the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion found himself back in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Saturday, reports surfaced that the former McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) had been arrested in France on allegations of sexual assault and indecent exposure. McGregor was interviewed and released by officials, and his team subsequently issued a statement and vehemently denied all wrongdoing.
White was asked about the situation at the UFC on ESPN+ 35 post-fight news conference, and said he doesn’t have any more details from what’s already emerged publicly.
“Whether you’re retired or not retired you can get yourself into trouble,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “I don’t know enough about the Conor situation. I don’t know about it. I know what you’ve read. I’ve read the same things. Conor is retired, I haven’t talked to him. I’m sure he doesn’t need my help or advice, but if he did he can call.”
Over the past several years McGregor has found himself in hot water for a number of indiscretions outside of the octagon. There have been other instances of sexual assault allegations, no cases of the Irishman being officially charged or convicted have emerged.
White was pressed on why he believes McGregor’s name continues to be tied to these types of stories, and he said the status of the superstar fighter can be a breeding ground for controversy. White has witnessed firsthand what McGregor’s level of global fame can do, and although he said it would be no excuse if any such allegations were proven accurate, he recognizes McGregor leads far from a simple life.
“One time when Conor blew up and Conor was massive, he showed up one time at the venue with so much security I was like, ‘This is (expletive) ridiculous, no one needs this much security, this kid is going to blow all his money just on security,’” White said. “Then me and Lorenzo (Fertitta) met up with him one night, and holy (expletive). You just don’t understand how big this kid is until you go out with him. He was literally get mobbed. People were going crazy, screaming and jumping up from blackjack tables and leaving money to go up after Conor. I’d never seen anything like that.
“You guys have to realize – imagine what it’s like in Europe. There are like old people freaking out when he went by. It wasn’t just young people. It was old people. That kind a life, crazy (expletive) happens when you’re in that type of a lifestyle. You try to go out and you try to act normal and you try to be normal and it’s hard to do sometimes. I’m not defending Conor in any way, shape or form. I don’t know enough about his situation to talk about it at all. I do know I have gone out with him publicly with him before and it is bat (expletive) nuts.”
McGregor hasn’t fought since a quick TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January. He announced his retirement from the sport in May, and White has said numerous times he’s taken “The Notorious” at his word on that claim.