UFC president Dana White admits he was in 'a really bad place' with Conor McGregor after the Irishman leaked their private Instagram messages.
Frustrated by failed talks to book a second fight in 2020, McGregor shared his private conversations with White on Twitter last September.
White was left fuming by McGregor's actions, but he was more frustrated by the fact the messages revealed they were speaking about an ageing Diego Sanchez.
He told ESPN: “We were in a really bad place then, I was really upset. It wasn’t because he put out private messages.
"We were talking about another fighter. And I like Diego Sanchez. I have a lot of respect for Diego Sanchez.
"I care about Diego Sanchez. I talked to Diego face-to-face about it, and being the great human being he is, we’re all good."
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McGregor and White eventually ended up hashing out their issues, a reconciliation which has led to the former headlining the promotion's first pay-per-view card of 2021.
White added: “I was really upset with Conor, but we fixed that and now we’re all good.”
McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the octagon a week on Saturday in the main event of UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
The UFC's first simultaneous two-weight world champion will be welcomed back to the cage by former featherweight rival Dustin Poirier..
White believes the 32-year-old is hungrier than ever ahead of his return, saying: "The questions are always: ‘This guy is so rich, how hungry is he?
“There’s nothing more exciting or fun than a motivated Conor McGregor, when his head is in the right place.
"And you can tell when he is and when he isn’t, and right now, he’s in.
"My conversations with Conor, I know when the real Conor is here and the other Conor is here, and believe me when I tell you, the real Conor is here.
“If something happened to Dustin Poirier, he is the Conor McGregor right now that doesn’t give a s*** who we put in that fight.
“He’s going to be, ‘Who’s ready? Who you got? I’m going to the gym, tell me who’s showing up on Saturday.’ He’s that guy right now. That Conor McGregor is back.”
McGregor's showdown with Poirier – his first fight since his 40-second destruction of Donald Cerrone last January – will be a rematch of their meeting at UFC 178 six years ago.
That night at the office was a short one for The Notorious, who knocked out the American in under two minutes to solidify his status as a featherweight contender.
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