Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao are reportedly starting negotiations for the MMA star’s next mega fight after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr., but Dana White may be a big roadblock to getting it done.
Though McGregor has only one professional boxing fight under his belt, he showed in this summer’s bout with Mayweather that he can fill the bill for a major event, and it has apparently caught the eye of Pacquiao’s team. JimWhite of Sky Sports reported that Pacquiao has opened negotiations on a fight that would take place in April of next year, meaning McGregor wouldn’t be returning to the UFC to defend his 155-pound title.
That would likely mean McGregor is stripped of his belt, Forbes noted, and he would also have to get through a litigious Dana White. In an interview at UFC’s Fight Night 123, White said that McGregor wouldn’t be able to fight Pacquiao.
“That would be weird, because (McGregor’s) under contract with us,” the UFC president told MMAjunkie (via the Express).
White made it clear that if Manny Pacquiao and his team want a fight with Conor McGregor, they will first have to take him on in the courtroom.
“If that’s true, I will be suing Manny Pacquiao and whoever is representing him,” White said.
There would undoubtedly be plenty of hype around a potential Pacquiao-McGregor fight, as the UFC star lasted much longer against Mayweather than many had expected. Though Mayweather ended up cruising to victory as the fight moved into the later rounds, McGregor landed plenty of good shots and showed to many that he belongs in the ring.
Pacquiao hasn’t been in the ring since a controversial decision loss to Joe Horn earlier this year, and was due a rematch with the Australian boxer, but as Bleacher Report noted Pacquiao had to opt out due to his government duties in the Philippines.
It is not clear where negotiations stand for a Conor McGregor vs. Manny Pacquiao fight or what kind of purse either fighter could be looking at. It’s also not clear yet how much of a fight Dana White may put up, or if it is just the UFC president’s typical bluster. While some outlets (including Yahoo Sports) believe there is little chance that Pacquiao and McGregor will actually meet, others note that the same sentiment was once shared about the idea of Mayweather returning from retirement to take on McGregor.