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Fight fans are wondering if there's an unspoken 'beef' between Dana White and Islam Makhachev after the UFC president forgot the lightweight champion's name – again.
For the second time in the space of a few days, White was left fumbling his words when attempting to reference Makhachev in the build-up to UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, on Saturday. The Dagestan mixed martial artist will face featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in what promises to be a showdown for the ages, though White only appears interested in one half of the fixture.
The promoter—who was recently recorded slapping his wife, Anne, in the face at a New Year's Eve party—hit headlines earlier this week when he couldn't recall Makhachev's name building up to the bout. However, suspicious spectators are now spotting a pattern after White once again whiffed while trying to recall the 31-year-old lightweight champion of the world.
READ MORE: Dana White makes huge blunder as he forgets Islam Makhachev’s name promoting UFC 284
Do you think Dana White 'forgetting' Islam Makhachev's name is genuine? Let us know in the comments section.
"Number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world [Volkanovski] versus the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world," said White during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. He can then be seen turning his chair to the giant UFC 284 poster on-screen behind him before giving up with a futile: "Exactly."
"They're both champions, they're both world champions," White continued. "So Volkanovski is moving up in weight to try to take his [gestures to Makhachev's face] title. Ummm [laughs], this is a bada** fight."
Dagestan has been put on the map as a factory of fierce fighting talent since Khabib Nurmagomedov emerged and dominated the lightweight division before retiring undefeated. Makhachev has followed in his footsteps by claiming the 155-pound title and boasts a 23-1 record, but even that's not quite good enough to stick in the mind of White.
"OK that's twice now," exclaimed a quizzical fan on Twitter. "Is there some kind of beef between Dana and said fighter who cannot be named?" He was far from alone in his suspicions as another dubbed the move "100% intentional," while one commenter replied: "Bro HOW can he not know his own champion's name!"
White previously drew a blank while talking about UFC 284's main event at a recent press conference. The UFC figurehead was speaking about the opportunity both fighters faced and touched on Volkanovski's prospects before spacing on Makhachev altogether.
“It’s beating all the fights of its type and it’s probably going to beat the record for pay-per-view in Australia and New Zealand," he told reporters. "The UFC, our record, which was Conor [McGregor] and somebody. But it looks like it’s going to break that record. It’s a monster fight.”
“When you have the number one and the number two pound-for-pound guys in the world fighting each other in their prime, it’s never happened. So when you talk about legacy? If Volkanovski can pull this off, it’s obviously massive. And if. . .if, umm. . .you know. . .um [looks off stage] yeah [laughs] can pull it off, it’s. . .he’s on his way to building an incredible legacy.”
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- Dana White
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