Floyd Mayweather Jr. has indicated that UFC President Dana White has changed from the man he once knew after being questioned on his own consistent wrangles with MMA fighters.
The undefeated boxing star has been name-dropped several times by fighters from the UFC. Ronda Rousey claimed in an August Reddit thread that she could defeat Mayweather in a no-rules fight, and Conor McGregor stated in an interview with the Guardian that both he and Rousey would beat Mayweather (h/t ESPN.com's SportsNation staff).
The war of words between the Irishman and Mayweather escalated recently, with McGregor responding strongly after the American cited his name in an interview with FightHype.com to prove racism still exists in fight sports. McGregor countered by saying "there's people buried in the desert for less than that," per MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi.
However, when questioned over why UFC fighters kept taunting him, it was his relationship with White that Mayweather addressed, not his conflicts with Rousey or McGregor, per FightHype.com's Luis Sandoval:
We can forgive, but sometimes we never forget. When no one knew who Dana White was...Dana White used to run around with me, hang out with me and I treated him just like anyone else in my camp.
I wore the Bullenbeisser patch for Dana White, a little square guy. At that particular time, I think the guy had a Honda, but I didn't judge him. If you were my friend, I love you unconditionally. I like you the same way I like everyone else that's around me.
Now all of a sudden, a guy gets put in a position, he shaves his head bald and acts like he's just tough and rugged.
That's not the Dana White I know. I knew Dana White as a good guy, a good square guy.
The full response can be seen in the below video:
White previously claimed in an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd that Rousey would "rag-doll" Mayweather were the pair to ever meet in a fight (h/t FoxSports.com's Damon Martin).
That claim has a little less to back it up now following Rousey's brutal knockout defeat to Holly Holm, a former boxer, in November.
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White has also previously stated that McGregor could be "bigger" than Money, but he also described The Notorious as "our Floyd Mayweather" because of the similarity in approach from the pair to their respective sports, per MailOnline's Martin Domin.
Mayweather hung up his gloves in September last year, retiring with a 49-0 professional record following his final victory against Andre Berto.
The likelihood of him coming out of retirement to take on a UFC fighter is minimal, and there seems to be little love lost between him and White.
However, given his status and combative nature, it seems likely he will continue to be baited by those in MMA. If nothing else, he often rewards them with a response.