Dana White compares Conor McGregor to Muhammad Ali after press conference
UFC President Dana White has compared former Lightweight champion Conor McGregor to former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali following the UFC 229 pre-fight press conference in New York on Thursday.
McGregor continually taunted Nurmagomedov about a variety of issues throughout the press conference and referenced his father, his relationship with arrested Russian billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov and his failure to get off a UFC fighter bus during McGregor's attack at a UFC 223 media day.
Nurmagomedov remained calm throughout the ordeal but after the press conference White told reporters that McGregor was better than Ali at 'mental warfare', a strong statement given that Ali once went to former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston's house with a bus and a megaphone in an attempt to force a fight.
“It was dark, man,” White told reporters during a post-press conference scrum.
“It was the darkest press conference I’ve ever been a part of. But Conor McGregor is the master of mental warfare. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: He’s better than anybody. Even Ali. You don’t want to say anybody’s better than Ali, but I think when it comes to the mental war game in this sport, or any other sport, Conor McGregor is the best ever.”
McGregor has distanced himself from comparisons to Ali and other fighters in the past and insisted that it's human nature for people to draw comparisons between him and other fighters.
"Look, every contest, they compare me to somebody new. I've been compared to Chael [Sonnen] on many occasions, the Brazilians compare me to Chael.
"The Americans are trying to compare me to Muhammad Ali. I've been compared to Nick Diaz, I've been compared to Anderson Silva, I've been compared to everybody in the fight game. But I am just me.
"It's just human nature. People look to relate you to somebody that they know, that they are familiar with. It's just human nature, people do that, but time will tell that I am not any of them. I am me, and the next young kid that's on his way up , he will be compared to me. This is human nature, but I am not Chael."