Conor McGregor's in another fight. But instead of engaging in conflict inside the Octagon, or the boxing ring, he's chosen social media as his venue.
UFC President Dana White said during an interview with Yahoo Sports on Friday that he "despises" Showtime, the television network on which the boxing match between McGregor and superstar Floyd Mayweather aired. White said that he suspected Showtime of lying about how many pay-per-view buys the fight actually garnered. For reference, May/Mac was the second-biggest pay-per-view event of all time, according to MMAFighting.com, just behind Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao at No. 1.
Showtime Executive Stephen Espinoza responded to White's claims on Twitter, saying that the company had told the truth about the PPV figures.
Sounds like he's upset because we committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth (when we released the accurate total for N. American PPV buys on MayMac).— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) January 5, 2018
Strange that telling the truth, in a press release vetted by all parties in advance, is something to be "despised" for. https://t.co/rFxKXz0Bjz
Later, in an interview on Sirius XM Radio, Espinoza said that the numbers Showtime had released couldn't be doctored just to make the UFC happy. Espinoza pointed out that Showtime is a public company, and that they would run into legal trouble if they lied about such figures.
“When we put something on it, when we say, ‘Here’s a Showtime Sports press release from Mayweather-Pacquiao or Mayweather-Mayweather,’ that has gone through lawyers and everyone has looked at it. It’s factual,” said Espinoza.
McGregor responded to Espinoza's tweet, calling him a "weasel," an insult that he had used in reference to Espinoza on the May/Mac press tour during the summer.
However, Espinoza didn't let McGregor's challenge go unanswered, pointing out a perceived inaccuracy in the bombastic Irishman's tweet.
It's unclear when the UFC's lightweight champion will return to the Octagon. No official announcement of a fight involving McGregor has been made, despite there being two clear-cut contenders for his strap in the forms of interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and No. 1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. Both fought at the end of 2017 and both seem to be chomping at the bit for a chance at the UFC's most marketable star.
Rumors had surfaced in recent weeks of a potential boxing match between superstar Manny Pacquiao and McGregor. But McGregor seemed to quickly respond to those claims when TMZ caught up with him in mid-December, saying that it was "MMA next."