After defeating Eddie Alvarez back at UFC 205 Conor McGregor announced he would be taking a break during the early part of 2017 awaiting the birth of his first child. On the 28th of January 2017 McGrgeor attended a fan experience event in which he was interviewed by Ariel Helwani in front of 5,000 paying fans. During the interview McGrgeor opened up about various topics which we had not previously heard him address, one of those topics inevitably was the likelihood of a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
Questioned on the status of the fight and the offers publicly made by Floyd Mayweather & Dana white, McGregor responded “Me and Floyd have got to get together and figure it out, same way him (Floyd) and Manny figured it out”. McGregor followed up with “that fight was more than just being explored, that fight has been in the works a while now there’s a lot of steps to get through to get the fight done but its the fight to make”.
The biggest stumbling block i see in this fight coming together is how difficult negotiating numbers and fight specifics with team Mayweather can be, the other issue is McGregor’s contract with the UFC which means he requires their blessing or cooperation. Dana white has offered both McGregor & Mayweather 25 million dollars each, casually crunching the numbers that would mean the UFC would be taking a huge chunk of the revenue. Floyd Mayweather was guaranteed 100 million to fight Manny Pacquiao back in May of 2015 so the chances of him accepting such a comparative low number are minuscule.
What made me buy into the legitimacy of this fight proceeding was the moment in the interview when Ariel Helwani asked if this fight could be made without the UFC, McGregor replied “i believe so, with the Ali act i believe i can. But i think its smoother we’re all involved”. He went on to say “everyone’s got to know their place, if they (the UFC) let people go fight jiu jitsu tournaments they can’t stop me going to fight a boxing fight”.
If McGrgeor can find a loophole that could cut the UFC out of the frame it would make negotiations much simpler. Not only because they can possibly be excluded but if they would like to be involved the UFC as a promoter would be forced to accept a more reasonable percentage of the revenue. There’s been lots of speculating and even after this recent interview skepticism will still be present however when a man who’s been true to his word so much in the last three years says “this is happening” it may just be time for us to listen.