Thursday, March 21, 2019

McGregor Willing to Fight as Co-Main Event if…

Conor McGregor
When it comes to Conor McGregor and his negotiations with Dana White of the UFC, there’s always strings attached. McGregor is currently operating under a six-fight agreement with the UFC. It’s not likely those fights are going to occur without either McGregor or White angling to get something a little extra on the side.

Prior to McGregor’s NAC suspension for his role in the brawl that took place with Khabib Nurmagomedov after losing to him at UFC 229, there was plenty of interest in a fight between McGregor and the camp of Donald Cerrone. There would also be plenty of interest among gamblers, who enjoy betting on the UFC, to see this fight.

The problem is the UFC wanted to have it as a co-main event for a Pay-Per-View, something Cerrone was almost sure wouldn't fly with McGregor. Ah, not so fast. It turns out there is a willingness from McGregor to fight under this scenario if he gets something he has been coveting for a while now.

In a very recent Chicago interview with Mike Pendleton and BJPenn.com, McGregor made clear he was willing to do whatever the UFC wanted as long as they give him what he feels he deserves, shares in the company.

He stated, “I’m ready to fight. I’ve said that, no problem. If the UFC wants me to slide into that co-main event and help, what that is, me sliding into the co-main event, it’s boosting their brand over fighter rhetoric that they have. There’s no problem with that. But if they want me to push that - and I have no problem pushing that - give me my rightful shares in the UFC company. That’s all I ask. You can put me on the first fight of ESPN+, no problem. So, let’s see how it goes.”

His push for a minority interest ownership in the UFC began after he won the lightweight title to become the first fighter to ever hold two titles simultaneously. It also came shortly after WME-IMG purchased the UFC from White and made him President. By the way, White just signed a seven-year extension to remain in his post.

The concern for McGregor was a bunch of celebrities now owned the UFC without ever having to contribute anything more to the sport than money. Meanwhile, McGregor put his blood, sweat and tears on the line and became the sport’s marque name, something he believes is worthy of an ownership share in the organization. While he hasn’t yet gotten what he requested, it did get him that lucrative six-fight deal.

Admittedly, McGregor and his name are responsible for five of the six highest-grossing UFC PPV events ever held. His name does put people in the seats and turns on TVs around the world. Unfortunately, the notion the UFC would assign some ownership value to attendance would set a very tenuous precedent going forward in the future. The problem is today it’s McGregor, but what happens as his career passes him by and the next “name de’jour” comes along and wants their slice of the pie? The pie is only so big.





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