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DGS Main Event MMA Tag Team of Year: Dana White and Conor McGregor

Dana White and Conor McGregor (Getty Images)

Dana White and Conor McGregor (Getty Images)

They’ve made us laugh and they’ve made us cry. They’ve given us anxiety and they’ve put smiles on the faces of millions.

Oh yeah, and together they made the UFC about a bazillion dollars in the last two years.

They are our MMA Tag Team of 2016, UFC President Dana White and UFC Lightweight and former-Featherweight (oh yeah, I went there) champion Conor McGregor.

Love them or hate them, these two have become the face of mixed martial arts, especially after their accomplishments in 2016. After his 13 second KO victory over former, now-current 145-pound title holder Jose Aldo at UFC 194, McGregor started off the year as UFC Featherweight champion. He predicted 2016 was going to be the year he became MMA’s first two division champion and no one was going to tell him otherwise.

*tag in White*

The promotion hopped on the McGregor train and booked him to face former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196 in March.

*tag McGregor*

After Dos Anjos withdrew on less than two weeks notice due to injury, in true McGregor fashion he committed to fight anyone at 196, title on the line or not (we’ll get to that in another article).

This is when this beautiful tag team was born.

*tag in White*

As the UFC President, White has seen and been through it all. Pay-per-view cards cancelled last minute. The rise and fall of fighters. USADA violations. A fighter, let alone a champion, like Conor McGregor was just what he had dream of. A golden star who could not only talk on the mic and sell a fight like few before him could, but also backed up what he said.

*tag in McGregor*

Even following McGregor’s loss to Nate Diaz in March, these two held strong. This wasn’t going to be the Ronda Rousey loss of UFC 193. McGregor wasn’t going into hiding and leave White holding his hand out with no tag insight. He would be back, just with some epic social media antics in between.

There was the McGregor retirement post. There was the UFC 200: Diaz vs. McGregor rematch saga when White pulled McGregor off the card for not participating in the media obligations leading up to the historical card. Then there was the dinner following the card that gave us faith that these two weren’t giving up on each other. And they didn’t.

*tag in White*

Oh, we also can’t forget when the rumors started of boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. challenging McGregor to a boxing fight (mostly cause they still haven’t gone away). White made sure to step right in and get a piece of that pie (if the pie were to ever finish being baked). Since McGregor is under contract with the UFC, White did not shut down the possibility of the super fight, just making it clear any negotiations would have to go through him.

*tag in McGregor*

After reconciling, we saw McGregor avenge his loss to Diaz a month later at UFC 202. Then face and defeat former UFC Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in the promotions first card at Madison Square Garden in November, becoming the first two division champion, just as he predicted.

Oh, did I mention White made a cool $350 million off the $4.2 billion dollar sale of the UFC to WMG this year as well? He can thank his tag team partner for a chunk of that.

Through the roller coaster of a year, these two have kept us on our toes and bounced off each other to make 2016 arguably the most eventful and newsworthy year we have seen from the UFC to date.

Will they retain the titles in 2017 or will a new McGregor emerge?


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Kristine is a Managing Editor for as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.

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