Dana White and the UFC on Saturday night got what they deserved — a black eye that should bring embarrassment and shame upon them both.
White, president of the UFC, is partly responsible for the brawl triggered by Khabib Nurmagomedov, who submitted Conor McGregor in the fourth round and then set off an ugly post-fight scene. Nurmagomedov jumped out of the octagon and attacked one of McGregor’s sparring partners, and members of Nurmagomedov’s entourage attacked McGregor inside the octagon.
White’s actions were no less despicable.
The madness can be tracked back to April in Brooklyn, when McGregor, retaliating against Nurmagomedov on behalf of a teammate, attacked a bus that was carrying Nurmagomedov, other UFC fighters and UFC staff members. McGregor threw a dolly at the bus, shattered glass, injured fighters and exposed White as an opportunist.
“This is the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company,’’ White said after the incident, and within 72 hours he was backpedaling.
Soon enough, White saw the mayhem as a marketing bonanza and and video of McGregor throwing the dolly at the bus was used to promote the ensuring McGregor-Nurmagomedov fight — and it also promoted lawlessness.
Instead of punishing McGregor for attacking the bus and causing injuries, he rewarded the Irishman with a fight that enriched the UFC. As for disciplinary action, White left that up to a Brooklyn court, and McGregor accepted a plea deal that allowed him to plead guilty to a reduced disorderly conduct charge and continue to work and travel in the United States.