Yesterday, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather kicked off the Let’s All Pretend Conor McGregor Isn’t Going To Get His Ass Kicked press tour for their fight on August 26. The first press conference ended with the two fighters facing off and talking shit, which would have been fun to see if not for the presence of UFC figurehead Dana White, lurking in the background like a sex pervert who just stumbled upon a window with no blinds.
White does this all the time, and consistently ruins just about every pre-fight face-off he’s involved in. He’s ostensibly there to jump in and prevent the fighters from beating on each other should things get physical, but the main effect of his presence seems to be to draw attention to him and build his brand as a tough guy the world’s toughest athletes have to listen to and as the face of the UFC. This makes sense from a marketing perspective in a certain way (fighters come and go, but White is always there) but none in another (any time you’re interested enough in a fight to check out a press conference or weigh-in, White is always there).
A contrast with boxing is instructive. Many famous and angry boxers have managed to have peaceful face-offs without some big-headed oaf lording over them. Look, here’s Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward getting along just fine on their own:
That’s a cool photo! Much of the reason it’s cool is that there isn’t some guy who looks like Uncle Fester’s deadbeat brother in the background, looking for an opportunity to break it up if it gets heated and so show how tough he is. The funny thing about this is that White’s presence only seems to precipitate confrontations, rather than prevent them. One might even say he spurs them on, given that even when there’s no need to “break it up,” White does it anyway. He did so yesterday, in fact:
There was no damn reason for White to intervene there! This sunburned snowman just likes being on TV. Imagine how much better all these photos would be without Dana White in them:
Knock it off, you weirdo. You’re ruining all the pictures.