UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor wants assurances that his financial demands for a return to fighting are met prior to him agreeing to step foot inside the octagon or the ring
2017 saw McGregor rake in circa $160 million dollars by his own accounts.
The vast majority of that figure came from his money-spinning boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August. “The Notorious” also has alternative financial interests such as a fashion brand and a whiskey selection, which, added to his millions made from sponsorship and endorsement deals, keeps the Irishman in serious wealth.
McGregor’s bulging bank balance and life of opulence are what other fighters can only dream of. Having made enough money to retire, there are many who believe that the Dubliner may never step foot inside the cage again. UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and UFC President Dana White have voiced their uncertainty with regards to the Irishman ever fighting again:
“I’ve never thought he was coming back – I’ve said it all along,” Woodley told TMZ recently. “When he goes to fight for $60-110million – whatever he came home with – are you going to get him to come back and fight the match-ups that were most challenging to him for a fraction of that? You’re not going to do it.
“For him to come back and fight me or Tony Ferguson? Or one of these [fighters] that are not going to be affected by the trash talk, the antics and are going to try to knock his head off? No. It’s not worth it. He’s going to blow through that money [instead].”
White certainly feels as though McGregor’s motivation to return to fighting may have been impacted following a year in which he made over one hundred million dollars:
“Money changes everything, he may never fight again,” White said. “He has got $100 million in the bank. It’s tough to get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million.”
McGregor has had his say. While the champ has stopped short of committing to a return to fighting, he has clearly indicated that he is in no rush and no need to fight:
“My focus is getting back into the right ring or Octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing,” McGregor told Betsafe, via The MacLife. “At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game, or whatever the next business endeavor might be.”
That next business venture for McGregor is the source of much speculation. The Irishman is undoubtedly the biggest name in combat sports today and could pretty much walk straight into acting roles or professional wrestling if he chose to.
“[McGregor] constantly involves himself if it’s going to be newsworthy. This is what he wants,” Woodley added in his interview with TMZ. “Do I think his stock is going down as a fighter? Actually, his stock is going through the roof. He’s constantly doing something that’s going to get him seen.”
Woodley responded positively when he was asked if he could see McGregor making the transition into movies:
“His personality will transition well into film. He turned down movie roles. He said, ‘I’m not going to do every movie role. So when something comes forward that’s a good piece, I’m going to jump in there.’”
Should McGregor strike a deal with the UFC, it is still unclear who his opponent will be. With interim-lightweight champion Tony Ferguson seemingly the obvious choice, the fact that “El Cucuy” will be taking time out to recover makes things less certain. Max Holloway, the UFC featherweight champion who lost to McGregor (his last loss) in 2013, is a name which is being thrown around. While it is highly unlikely that McGregor will ever fight at featherweight again, it is not inconceivable for the Hawaiian to move up to 155-pounds.
Should a McGregor vs. Holloway bout be an option, it would certainly not be a hard sell for the UFC. “Blessed” would bid to become only the second fighter to hold two titles in two weight classes at the same time after “The Notorious” while McGregor could be the first man to achieve that feat for the second time.