Last night’s Conor McGregor pay-per-view interview with Ariel Helwani had 5,000 fans in attendance at the EventCity exhibition center in Manchester, England. The UFC two-division champ came out of his 10-month hiatus and commissioned Helwani for a sit-down interview to discuss plans about his career.
McGregor went straight to the point that his eyes are trained on a Floyd Mayweather match. According to Fox News, UFC president Dana White had offered $25 million to both Conor and Floyd, plus a cut of pay-per-view profits just to make the fight happen. While McGregor is up for the challenge, provided the numbers are right, Mayweather had only scoffed at the figures.
“Me and Floyd have got to get together and talk and figure it out the same way him and Manny (Pacquiao) figured it out,” McGregor said. “Once we come to a number, once we come to a set number that I’m happy with, that he’s happy with and then we go to the customers. Then we go to the promoters, the buyers and then we get it done. That’s next.”
Conor discussed flying to Las Vegas to settle the fine imposed on him by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) during an incident with Nate Diaz at a press conference leading up to UFC 202. The NAC had fined him $150,000, plus 50 hours of community service, for throwing a bottle at Diaz, but according to Gregor, they now have a plan in place to “make it work.”
Initially, Mayweather had offered $15 million and a percentage on pay-per-view to McGregor, then increased it to double of whatever the UFC star’s highest payout was. White was quick to butt in though, as McGregor is under contract with the UFC. This means that UFC needs to co-promote the fight, and yes, be entitled to at least half of the revenue.
“If you’re talking to anybody about this fight, you’re talking to me,” White had said during an interview with The Herd. “I’m the promoter. Conor McGregor’s under contract with me. There’s a reason you want this Conor fight so bad, because you know that’s your ‘money fight.'”
Meanwhile, Conor had formed his own promotional body named McGregor Promotions, and it looks like he’s set on staking his own claim to the match.
“Nobody’s my boss,” McGregor said during the PPV interview. “I know Floyd likes to say Dana’s my boss—hell no. Nobody decides this. If (the UFC brass) let people go fight jiu-jitsu tournaments, they can’t stop me going to fight a boxing fight.”
However, Dana White has his own say on the matter. Speaking at the UFC on Fox 23 post-fight news conference, the UFC president said that if one is charging people to hear someone talk, then one has to make it worth it. He debunked Conor’s claims as just crazy talk since it’s pay per view.
“You know how I feel about Conor, I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect, and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall.”
Meanwhile, McGregor’s fixation on Mayweather has now cut the chances of a rematch with UFC rival Nate Diaz. It can be recalled that Diaz had defeated McGregor at UFC 196, but Conor got him back at 202. Now, Diaz has since been lobbying for a trilogy fight. However, “Notorious” had gone to the 155-pound division and defeated Eddie Alvarez at 205.
Mayweather had tried to use Diaz to coax a response from McGregor, by setting up a FaceTime with the UFC star. While Diaz decided not to fall for Floyd’s dirty tricks, this had prompted Conor to put his rival at the end of the queue, saying that if only Diaz had taken the FaceTime bait, it would have cut the queue to a rematch with him. The UFC lightweight champion isn’t disregarding another match with Diaz though.
On the contrary, McGregor is more than ready to fight all of them. He has these names in his roster: Anderson Silve, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Jose Aldo, and Tyron Woodley.
In addition, McGregor also addressed his Wrestlemania appearance this year. While it was reported that Conor had turned down their “hefty offer,” he said that he has not closed his doors on Wrestlemania and would love to “have a real knock and see what’s what.”
[Featured Image by Al Bello and Steve Marcus/Getty Images]