First off, this isn't an article excusing Conor's recent behavior. It was indeed a set of criminal acts that put a bunch of innocent people in harm's way. He'll have his day in court, and at that point he'll be judged.
Instead, this column is all about the simple facts of the entire situation: you can't blame Conor. Yes, Conor was the one throwing a hand truck through a tour bus window. Yes, it was Conor who loaded up his private jet with a bunch of his
goons friends to defend his friend and training partner Artem Lobov. But it has been one man that has enabled the Conor McGregor that we see today. Dana White, come on down...the monster you've created has finally become unhinged.
Look, I have no issues with Conor defending his friend. I think we all need friends like that. And maybe this entire ordeal was indeed staged like some people believe. But at the end of the day, Conor is only doing what he's been doing since his first day in the UFC. The man has called all of his own shots. He went into hostile territory against Jose Aldo and effectively took that man's soul in a press conference. He's defeated every man that the UFC has placed in front of him. He has his own promotional company, movies made about him, endorsement deals with fast food restaurants, and he's the UFC's first million dollar man. All under the watchful eye and guidance of Dana White. Do you honestly think all of this has happened without the approval of the UFC's head honcho?
It was White who allowed McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather in the biggest sports spectacle in our lifetime. That event effectively allowed The Notorious One to become bigger than his employer. The UFC needs Conor McGregor, not the other way around. Want proof? Notice how Dana White hasn't cut Conor from the roster at this point. Three fights were canceled due to Conor going The Incredible Hulk on that bus backstage. That's six fighters who lost an opportunity to showcase their talents (the fighters were paid their "show" money). If Dana White was that disgusted, then Conor would be an unemployed fighter at the moment. Instead he's a fighter who just made himself even more "notorious" than before.
Whether intentional or not, both Dana White and Conor McGregor will become insanely rich off of this incident. There was already no doubt, from this writer, that Conor was coming back to the UFC in the fall. Even Dana effectively said so. There is only three fights that could be worth the promotion. The Conor vs Georges St Pierre option is there, but is the least likely of the three. Running Conor vs Nate Diaz III is there, but that option will be there regardless. There's no need for the UFC to have that fight quite yet. That leaves the third and most likely option. Which was/is Conor vs the holder of the lightweight title that Conor has never
lost defended and was recently stripped of. The UFC wanted Conor vs Khabib and now the stage is set for the greatest grudge match in UFC history. The fight sells itself...or most accurately, Conor has already sold the fight. With the help of a hand truck that is.
Conor is the product of the machine that he fed with his determination, will, cockiness, and his ability to back it all up inside of the octagon. That machine has been driven by Dana White, and together both men have gotten insanely rich off of it all. But even Dana knows that you have to take the good with the bad in regards to Conor. For every 13 second knockout or second round TKO of Eddie Alavarez, there will come a chaotic press conference, a bum-rush of a Bellator fight, or rifling a hand truck through a bus window. The UFC's Million Dollar Man is too valuable to contain but too volatile to trust. Dana White has chosen to ride with Conor on this roller coaster, and make no mistake about it...he's fine with the ups and downs because the pay off is worth it at the end. You can't blame Conor for operating the amusement park ride, you can only be upset that people continue to get on the ride.