Reigning UFC featherweight champion the “Notorious” Conor McGregor has experienced a roller coaster of media attention in recent memory regarding his withdrawal from his scheduled UFC 200 (July 9, 2016) rematch with Nate Diaz as well as his hypothetical boxing match with retired pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Aside from his now infamous subtle tweets, McGregor has remained relatively quiet, but he recently did an interview that appeared on SportsCenter this morning (May 22, 2016) in which he discussed the current state of his career.
As far as the UFC 200 spectacle goes, in which McGregor was pulled from the card after declining to meet the UFC’s full promotional requirements, the Irishman said that he was simply looking to do what was best for himself after previously drowning himself in the media:
“It was a publicized civil war. I was going through some things, there was some crazy stuff going on back home, and I wanted to be focused on my training. I was in a time where I was figuring out something. I didn’t just shut out and say no to everything. I just wanted to do reasonable media, and then all of a sudden it’s three months from the fight we’ve got to drag you forty hour flights to come and do a runaround – New York, Vegas, California, seventy press conferences, seventy talk shows, adverts. I only made you four hundred million last week. I need to get right.” McGregor said.
From McGregor’s point of view, it appears as if he was looking for more time away from the lights and the cameras, and for the ability to focus on training.
However, he and the UFC were clearly on different pages, and the situation eventually exploded:
“The lack of communication, and they (UFC) weren’t having it, they were trying to push back on me, I was trying to push back on them, and then it was like look – it blew up then.”
McGregor did indeed admit that at times he felt a bit of regret, but in the end he did what was right for himself:
“There were times when seeing the press conferences take place, and I was like I should’ve just jumped on the damn flight. I should’ve just stuck it out and went with it. But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you, and not do what’s right for everyone else, and especially if you’ve done what’s right for everyone else a million times over.”
As far as the rumors regarding a potential showdown with Mayweather go, it appears to be just that: rumors, and speculation just as many had expected.
The “Notorious” one would however be open to the fight, but in no way would he take a pay cut in order to make it happen. According to the Irishman, Mayweather needs him:
“It was him that leaked the rumor. He gets $100 million, and I get $7 million. That is a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing was where the money was at. Seven million is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100 million. I’m also talking $100 million. I’m 27 years of age and I’m just about halfway through a $100 million contract,” McGregor said.
“At 27 years of age, Floyd Mayweather was on Oscar de la Hoya’s undercard. Compare that. Who doesn’t want to conquer both worlds? He’s getting old now. I have the size, I have the reach, I have the heighth, I have the youth. He needs me, I don’t need him. That’s the truth of it. Who else he can fight? He fights someone else in the boxing realm.. all of a sudden the pay goes from $100 million to $15 million. He needs me. If he wants to talk, we can talk, but it’s me who is in control here.”
Despite his recent loss, and the madness that has surrounded him as of late, one thing is for sure: the same old brash, outspoken, and confident Conor McGregor is still around.