After a year that saw the relationship between Conor McGregor and Dana White appear to hit a rocky patch, the pair are now back on the same page as they get set to launch into a big year for both men in 2021.

Speaking to ESPN ahead of McGregor’s return at UFC 257, White said that his relationship with the former two-division UFC champion was “in a good place now,” and it seems McGregor shares a similar view.

“Me and Dana have always had an amazing relationship. More than fighter-promoter, even,” McGregor told The Mac Life. “I’ve a lot of respect for Dana. What he’s done in 2020 was nothing short of outstanding, and I’ve commended him on that, and I do commend him on that.”

McGregor admitted that tensions did run high between the pair in 2020, with the Dubliner expressing his frustration at not being booked to fight. It led to him publishing private messages between the pair, which disappointed White. But now things appear to have been smoothed over, and McGregor seems relaxed and focused on delivering a big year, both for himself and the UFC.

“There were pockets of the year where we were at loggerheads, if you will, but this is high-pressure, high-stakes business,” McGregor said. “When you’ve got an Irishman looking for a fight, you better give him one, or it may be you that’s involved in the fight. All is good. We hashed it out, we said our piece, and we’re in a great spot now, and I’m very excited to come back now for the company and kickstart it in a major way.”

McGregor’s return gives him the opportunity to pick up where he left off in January 2020. “The Notorious” kicked off the year with a stunning 40-second finish of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, and things looked all set for the Irishman to have a big year, with McGregor waxing lyrical about his planned “2020 season.” The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic pumped the brakes on those plans, but despite those frustrations, McGregor is focusing on the positives as he looks back on a turbulent year in 2020.

“You know, 2020 was a good year for me,” he offered. “Highest pay-per-view, highest gate, fastest main-event KO. I came back with a bang, 40 seconds. I want to focus on the positives. There’s so much negativity around.

“I would have loved to have competed. I am a competitor at heart. I thrive under competition; it’s where I do all my best work when I am in competition. Just from my regular living, carrying myself healthily, my business aspirations, everything is firing on all cylinders when I am in competition. It was a little upsetting at times having to sit out throughout 2020. It is what it is.

“I am very happy with how my competition went in 2020. Here I am back now in 2021 to start the year again. There’s a lot of options. We’re not looking past Dustin – I’m not looking past anyone – but I am looking through him, and that’s where I will go with my punching. So we’ll see what happens after. We’re ready for this year in a big way.”