Conor McGregor made no secret of the fact that he wanted to fight multiple times in 2020.
Prior to his bout with Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 last January, McGregor revealed that he was looking at the calendar year as a “season” – and intended to compete on at least three occasions before it was over.
Of course, COVID-19 meant that 2020 did not turn out as anyone had hoped – and McGregor has been on the sidelines ever since his 40-second demolition of Cerrone nearly 12 months ago.
‘The Notorious’ grew so frustrated at his lack of activity that he even (once again) announced his retirement from the UFC last June. In attempting to explain that decision on social media, the 32-year-old even released screenshots of messages between himself and UFC president Dana White.
McGregor publically revealed the messages in a tweet to UFC veteran Diego Sanchez, who he had been hoping to arrange a bout against before the global pandemic struck.
“A fight late May in LA. Me and Diego in Dublin in August,” wrote McGregor in one message to White. “Rematch end of the year. BOOM. Me and Diego in Dublin is a cracker.”
Ali Abdelaziz, manager of McGregor’s long-time rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, has now condemned the Irishman for posting those private messages.
Abdelaziz made his remarks as part of a recent interview with TMZ Sports, where he also suggested that his client enjoys a far more genuine relationship with the UFC boss than McGregor does:
“The relationship between Khabib and Dana is about respect, is about morals, is about manhood, said Abdelaziz.
“It’s not like Conor and Dana’s relationship – this is all about money…Like we saw what Conor did putting the text messages of Dana White.
And that shows you what kind of individual he is. He’s trash.
“Khabib has class, Conor has trash. That’s the difference between the two men,”
As it turned out, White insists that was never going to entertain the idea of a McGregor vs Sanchez fight in any case.
“Bro, we should lose our promoter’s license if we make that fight,” he said whilst talking to the media shortly after the messages were leaked.
Abdelaziz is not necessarily wrong in his comments. McGregor is the biggest star in MMA and White is the head of the biggest organisation in the sport.
When McGregor faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 later this month, both parties will undoubtedly make a significant sum of money.
If and when he hears them, though, McGregor is unlikely to take kindly to Abdelaziz’s comments. The pair have not seen eye-to-eye since long before McGregor’s defeat to Khabib in October 2018.
Whatever the nature of the relationship between McGregor and White on a personal level, their association looks set to be a financially lucrative one for some time to come.