McGregor: Floyd needs fight more than I do
Irishman says he is committed to fight game despite UFC bust-up
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