Dana White's comparison of Conor McGregor to Muhammad Ali is spot on

Dana White says Conor McGregor and Muhammad Ali are 'both level when it comes to mental warfare' and he's totally right.
Muhammad Ali and Conor McGregor
Muhammad Ali and Conor McGregor /

During a recent podcast appearance, UFC president Dana White compared the trash-talking and mind-game skills of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali to that of Conor McGregor.

"I will tell you this, and I don’t ever like to compare people to Muhammad Ali because to me, he’s the f*cking (greatest) – and f*cking what he did in fighting, just as a human, what that guy accomplished, right? But I don’t give a f*ck what anybody says, Ali, Conor, both level when it comes to mental warfare: the two best of all time when it comes to mental warfare," White said on the FLAGRANT podcast.

I think he's right, but that's where the similarities end. Both of the fighters were impecable with their one-liners, their mystique and their personality. For a while, McGregor won fights even before he stepped in the Octagon. The difference between the two is that McGregor is sitting out of fight due to choice and Ali was not allowed to fight. McGregor has an incredible gift and is making the choice not to use it.

“If you look back at Ali and you look at what he did to George Foreman in Africa, you look at what he did to Joe Frazier, I mean throughout his entire f*cking career,” White said. “Joe Frazier f*cking hated Muhammad Ali so f*cking badly. He’d show up at his camp outside and f*cking do all this sh*t. He would predict rounds. He would come up with f*cking incredible poems and sayings and things that he would do leading up to the fight.

Dana White says Conor McGregor and Muhammad Ali are 'both level when it comes to mental warfare'

White continued, “Then, you look at Conor McGregor, he’s picked rounds. I mean, the mental warfare that this guy had on so many of his fighters. And he would make these guys play into his game, get into their heads, f*cking embarrass them, and outwit them in every way, shape and form. The Eddie Alvarez fight going into Madison Square Garden – he is literally at Ali’s level when it came to mental warfare.”

A great example was McGregor's fight with Jose Aldo. The antics that McGregor played before the fight like stealing his belt, all added to the fight. When he got into the cage with Aldo he'd already beat him. Same with Eddiw Alvarez. Both of the men bought into the persona that McGregor was selling. That's why Nate Diaz was able to beat McGregor, he didn't believe or care about any of the hype. He broke the armor and McGregor was never quite the same after that.

“I’m at a place right now with the Conor McGregor's and the Jon Jones, where, you know, they’ve sort of laid the foundation of their legacy and what they have, and they’ve made a sh*tload of money,” White said. “And it’s at the point now where when these guys do show up and fight, it’s fun. It’s fun when they show up and fight.”

At press time we aren't quite sure McGregor will show up to fight. There are rumors of an injury after his pre-fight presser was called off. Even more rumors after his opponent Michael Chandler said he was leaving camp and heading home. There's still no word from the UFC, and we're all holding our breaths in anticipation.


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