Conor McGregor entered the UFC vowing he was there not to take part, but to take over. He beat arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the sport in 14 seconds. Then he aimed to become the first figure in UFC history to hold two belts at once, and after a trip on the Diaz train with mixed results, he succeeded.
It stands to reason that his next fight might be for something more than whoever the #1 contender or interim champion is in whatever division. He teased an announcement before UFC 205, and after taking Eddie Alvarez’s belt, he said he wants equity in the promotion before he fights again.
Now Chael Sonnen says Conor McGregor next aims to box Floyd Mayweather.
McGregor was #85 on the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes this year, with $22,000,000. Mayweather was #16 with $44,000,000. The year before that, Mayweather was #1 with $300,000,000. A fight between the pair, under any rules, would be extraordinary.
It began on May 6 when a report surfaced in Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun that McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr were about to announce they’d be boxing in Vegas. The next day Mayweather Sr confirmed the pair would be fighting. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan speculated about how and whythe UFC could allow it to take place, which pushed it at least into possible.
Next came reality.
Last month McGregor recently took part in a Facebook Live Q&A and continued the conversation.
“Floyd’s afraid of a fight,” said McGregor. “Floyd doesn’t want the fight. Floyd wants a boxing match, and I’ve already said, ‘No problem. Get my f***ing money, and when you get my money, then we can box in this boxing match under this set of specific rules that will keep you alive.’
“So, I’m here. Where’s my money? Because if you keep dropping my name and you haven’t got my money, then I’m going to show up at your front door.”
Everything Chael Sonnen says is interesting, and it’s sometimes incidental if it’s true too. But what Sonnen said on the ESPN UFC 205 post-fight show stands to reason.
“Let me give you the short-term answer because long term, look, the sky is the limit for Conor,” said Sonnen, as transcribed byMichael Stets for MMA Mania. “Nobody knows what he wants to do. He does have a contract with the promotion. Ultimately, he will need Dana White on board for whatever he wants to do as long as he is under contract with the UFC. What Conor is telling people —and we are only as good as the information we are given — what Conor is telling people privately —he hasn’t done it publicly yet — but he is saying, ‘Look, with a win here tonight, should I beat Eddie, I’m going to take some time off and I’m going to do everything I can to get the boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.’
“Allegedly, now again the only person that can sign off on this contractually is Dana White to come in and promote. Allegedly. Rumor. Dana White is a little bit open to the idea to at least hearing what it is he wants to do instead of having a closed door. So leave the speculation at that. I happen to think there’s some legs to it, myself. As far as MMA goes, I think the son-of-a-gun will fight anybody. He’s been saying he will. He was picking fights backstage with Tyron Woodley, with Khabib Nurmagomedov. After what we saw here tonight, he gets to make his own choices.”