Dana White speaks up on Stephen A. Smith controversy; provides update on Conor McGregor's next fight
Conor McGregor shocked the world on his return to fighting at UFC 246 by demolishing Donald Cerrone within 40 seconds of the first round. The Irishman's performance after a year-long hiatus was jaw-dropping according to many but there was one man who wasn't impressed with the performance - veteran ESPN journalist Stephen A. Smith.
Discussing the fight in the aftermath of UFC 246, Smith ripped apart Cerrone for his dismal performance against the Irishman, claiming that 'Cowboy' quit, and that it seemed like he "folded like a cheap tent". Since then, UFC commentator Joe Rogan criticized Smith for his harsh take on Cerrone's performance and Smith too, fired back at Rogan stating that he stands by his comments.
“I didn’t hear [Smith’s comments]. I didn’t hear what he said. I know that there was some stuff going back and forth which is gonna happen. Listen, you’re tuning in and buying the pay-per-view because you love these guys and you respect these fighters and you’re a fan of the sport. The last thing you want to do is hear somebody ripping them apart."
White said that neither he nor Rogan or anyone else in the promotion for that matter believe in picking a fighter apart or criticizing him when he/she is beaten.
“I’m not into it. Rogan’s not into it. You don’t see that in the UFC. There will be times where I’m pissed off at a guy, and I’ll voice my opinion on what he did or whatever – or if a fight is really bad or somebody did something - but what we don’t do is, when a fight is over and a guy loses, we don’t go in and rip them apart. It’s just not our style. We’re fans. We don’t do it. So I think Rogan was reacting to that because that’s our philosophy here."
Speaking about McGregor's next outing in the UFC, White reiterated the fact that McGregor is next in line for a shot at the lightweight title.
“Conor’s thing right now if he thinks Tony and Khabib isn’t going to happen and he wants to slide into that spot,” White concluded. “So we’ll see how this plays out. He is ready, willing, and able to slide into that spot if it becomes available.”Published 07 Feb 2020, 19:53 IST