Dana White says his relationship with Conor McGregor has healed just months after they were involved in a bitter war of words
- Dana White and Conor McGregor are in a really good place professionally and personally.
- That's according to the UFC boss himself, who had a public falling-out with the fighter last year when McGregor leaked their private messages online.
- White said it violated basic "man code" and was "one of the dirtiest things."
- "We talked, got through it, and we're in a good place now," White said this week,
- He added that McGregor is looking like the fighter of old, and is ready to kick ass when he returns to the Octagon on January 23.
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FIGHT ISLAND - Dana White says his relationship with Conor McGregor is great just months after they were involved in a bitter dispute.
The UFC president fumed at his marquee fighter McGregor last year when the Irishman leaked their private Instagram messages online - something White said violated basic "man code."
"It's one of the dirtiest things you can do," he told Fight Island reporters, Insider included, at a media event last summer.
White was referring to McGregor tweeting screenshots of messages between him and White in the months after the fighter's 40-second victory over Donald Cerrone in January.
McGregor had been frustrated earlier in the year at the options the UFC had presented to him for his second fight in 2020.
He proposed a bout in Los Angeles against the veteran athlete Diego Sanchez. White was bemused by this idea as Sanchez is an unranked fighter and he regarded McGregor to be No.2 or No.3 in his division.
"We were in a really bad place, then," White told the ESPN MMA reporter Brett Okamoto recently.
"I was really upset. And it wasn't because he put out private messages, but we were talking about another fighter.
"I like Diego Sanchez a lot, have a lot of respect for Diego Sanchez, and I care about Diego Sanchez … so I was very upset about that.
"I talked to Diego face-to-face about it, and being the great human being he is - all good. But I was really, really upset with Conor."
Things are much better now, though. "We talked, got through it, and we're in a good place now.
"Business is always good, but that doesn't mean we're good. We're in a good business place and, personally, Conor and me are in a good place right now."
McGregor is back to being his old self - and White expects a performance to match on Fight Island
McGregor returns to the UFC Octagon for the first time in 12 months on January 23 for a lightweight match against Dustin Poirier on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
It is a rematch from a featherweight bout in 2014 which McGregor won by decisive, first-round knockout. Six years on, however, both fighters have evolved into more advanced beasts.
The difference between then, and now, is that McGregor has made many millions from his 2017 crossover bout with Floyd Mayweather, which he lost by 10th round stoppage, and so, for White, one question remains - "How hungry is he?"
White added: "Dustin Poirier is not the same guy who fought him six years ago, and Conor isn't the same guy who fought six years ago.
"It's a fight with the same people but with different mentalities, not the same attributes, and it makes it a completely different fight - a fun one.
"I'm always about the best fighting the absolute best. And anybody who doesn't think Conor McGregor isn't still one of the best fighters in the world, go back and look what he did to 'Cowboy' Cerrone last year. He is one of the best.
"And this is a real fight, he took this fight seriously … there's nothing more exciting and more fun than a motivated Conor McGregor when his head is in the right place.
"You can tell when he is, and you can tell when he isn't. And you can tell right now, he's in."
'Conor McGregor is back'
From McGregor's social media activity and the conversations White has had with him behind-closed-doors, one thing is clear to the promoter: "The real Conor is here."
White said McGregor is prepared to fight anyone, even a late replacement should anything happen to Dustin Poirier. He just wants to compete.
"He is the Conor McGregor right now who does not give a f--- who we put in that fight on that night. He's that guy right now.
"There isn't going to be, 'Oh, what about this guy, that guy,' He'll be, 'Who's ready, who you got? I'm going to the gym, tell me who's showing up on Saturday.' He's that guy right now. Conor McGregor is back.
"He's hitting me up and asking me questions about the layout of the arena, the walk-in, and all the things he's interested in knowing about right now. He's all-in on this thing.
"If you are a Conor McGregor fan and you love everything about Conor McGregor fights, don't miss this one."
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