It's a question that Dana White has managed to swerve around for the majority of his on screen interviews, but in an interview with Australian TV show The Project, the question of whether Conor McGregor should have been punished for the bus incident in New York reared its head again.
White was promoting UFC234 in Melbourne on February 10th, was asked by presenter Waleed Aly about the punishment (or lack thereof) for Conor and Khabib following their infractions before and after UFC 229.
Aly: I don't know if there have been any real punishments handed down to these guys. Let's be totally honest, let's be real, you love this stuff and its great for promotions.
White: We have a hearing in front of the Nevada Athletic State Commission coming up in December. They will lay down fines, suspensions and whatever else they're gonna do. and they're coming after me too for the promotion of the fight. It's really not good for business when things like that happen, we don't need that type of stuff to sell a fight.
Aly: But you don't suspend them!
White: He (Conor) couldn't fight because he was in jail!
Aly: Yeah and the state suspended him and you said come back and fight again. I just want you to level with us!
White went on to say 'what am I going to do? Suspend them for another year? It doesn't make sense!', but the precedent the company is setting is a dangerous one, where fighters aren't disciplined internally for their transgressions.
The NSAC may suspend both McGregor and Nurmagomedov in December, but that isn't going to stop them from fighting in any other state/country that they or the UFC wishes.
In essence it any suspension will not mean anything, and it is clear that White simply wants to keep both fighters happy in order to maximise the amount of money that can be made with them.
UFC president @DanaWhite shares a big Aussie announcement, explains why the bus incident wasn’t good for business and discusses the evolution of the sport. #UFC234#TheProjectTVpic.twitter.com/mA1Qysc6KN
— The Project (@theprojecttv) November 13, 2018