The proof is in the pudding. In spite of the impressive campaign Justin Gaethje launched over the last year he might be waiting a while for that title shot. The UFC seems to be opening up to possibility of McGregor being given the next Lightweight title shot.
Recently Dana White gave a very frank admission as to why exactly we might witness this happening.
“When we started this thing and this guy was on his rise – and believe me, I’ve dealt with a f**kin’ thousands fighters.”
“‘Oh, this isn’t the fight for me at this time’ and ‘This isn’t that, this isn’t this,’ this f**king kid, we’ve been in a house that he was renting.”
“I think it was when [José Aldo pulled out of 2015 bout]. This is what he said us: ‘I don’t give a f**k who you get. I’m going to work out. When you figure it out, call me and let me know.'”
“And then the Nate Diaz fight, another fight fell out for him, he said, ‘Well, let’s fight Diaz.’
“‘Well, do you want to do – No, I don’t want it at catchweight. If I don’t fight him at this weight, it doesn’t matter. It’s bullshit if I don’t fight him at his weight.’
White told Cormeir: “Conor McGregor has been that guy since the day that he walked into this f**king company.”
“So, for anybody to point the finger and say, ‘Oh, this guy’s getting special treatment…’ (Because) This guy’s special. This guy’s f**king special.
“You know how many fighters I’ve fuckin’ dealt with that’ll talk to me about, ‘This isn’t good for my brand. I’m not fighting my friends…'”
White’s statement comes less than a week after UFC commentator Joe Rogan was spotted hyping McGregor on his blockbuster podcast Joe Rogan Experience.
“He’s just got that freakish punch. I mean that’s just genius, he had a little bit of a cut over his right eyebrow from that punch. Look how genius this is, that’s so genius. You know what’s even more genius? He worked on the exact same thing and he mimicked what he was going to do, in the green room. There’s a video of him, Conor, Conor pretending to be Aldo and then him showing what he’s going to do and counter. He does the exact same move in the green room, knowing in the dressing room, knowing that’s going to be the fight,” – said Joe Rogan in a clip that was released to youtube.
One thing that sets apart this clip of Rogan from a million other times when he was talking about UFC fighters is the fact he’d shown UFC footage to accompany his narrative. This is something Rogan never does because he’s very diligent in preventing copyright claims for his clips.