McGre­gor: Floyd needs fight more than I do

Ir­ish­man says he is com­mit­ted to fight game de­spite UFC bust-up

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

I n his first in­ter­view since his “pub­li­cised civil war” with UFC, Conor McGre­gor says he is com­mit­ted to the sport. He also called out Floyd May­weather by say­ing the re­tired boxing great needs him more than he needs the Amer­i­can.

McGre­gor’s dis­pute with UFC made head­lines af­ter he re­fused to par­tic­i­pate in a pro­mo­tion for a fight and the wildly pop­u­lar fighter took his un­hap­pi­ness to so­cial me­dia.

The mixed mar­tial arts su­per­star was fed up with the gru­el­ing pro­mo­tional de­mands that come with be­ing a payper-view star. The 27-year-old fighter known for his over-the-top per­son­al­ity re­fused to par­tic­i­pate last month in pub­lic­ity for his sched­uled UFC 200 fight against Nate Diaz.

McGre­gor told ESPN that he sim­ply wanted a re­duced pro­mo­tional sched­ule.

“I was go­ing through some things,” he said. “There was some crazy stuff go­ing on back home. I wanted to be fo­cused on my train­ing.

“It was a time where I was fig­ur­ing out some­thing. I didn’t just shut out and say no to ev­ery­thing. I wanted to do rea­son­able me­dia.”

McGre­gor had been train­ing for a re­match against Diaz af­ter los­ing to the Amer­i­can in March, end­ing a 15-fight win­ning streak in which he sur­prised many fans by fight­ing 25 pounds above his usual weight of 145 pounds, where he holds a ti­tle belt. The re­match was set to be fought at 170 pounds.

McGre­gor stirred up fans in April with a tweet say­ing he had de­cided to re­tire young. That prompted UFC pres­i­dent Dana White to re­spond by say­ing McGre­gor had been pulled from UFC 200 be­cause of the dis­pute over pro­mo­tional ap­pear­ances for the card. White said McGre­gor was re­fus­ing to travel to Las Ve­gas for pro­mo­tions; McGre­gor posted on Face­book that he couldn’t af­ford the time he would need to leave his train­ing camp in Ice­land.

McGre­gor said he re­mained “com­mit­ted to the fight game” and met with UFC of­fi­cials to smooth out the re­la­tion­ship. McGre­gor and Diaz could pos­si­bly have a re­match at UFC 202 in Au­gust.

On the po­ten­tial of a mega-fight with May­weather, McGre­gor said: “Who doesn’t want to con­quer both worlds? He’s get­ting old now. He needs me, I don’t need him. Who else can he fight?

“The leak came out and it was him who leaked the ru­mour. He said he gets $100m, I get $7m. That’s a pay cut to me, I don’t take pay cuts.

“The $7m is ab­so­lutely laugh­able. If he’s talk­ing $100m I’m also talk­ing $100m. I'm 27 and I’m just about half­way through a $100m con­tract.”

“Who doesn’t want to con­quer both worlds?” – CONOR McGRE­GOR

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