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22nd Apr 2017

Sobering return prediction from inside Conor McGregor’s camp

Say it ain't so

Patrick McCarry

How do you go back to $15m pay-days after raking in $100m from one night’s work?

Conor McGregor knows all about the hard slog.

Dole money and €100 per fight was the sum total of his incomings as recently as 2012. His life was dedicated to reaching the UFC. You could say it broke the bank but there wasn’t much in there in the first place.

The quest nearly broke him but, after a rocky start, his belief was not for wavering.

As soon as he reached the UFC, he started picking off opponents and never looked back. By 2016, McGregor’s three pay-per-view fights pocketed $140m for the UFC and made him a rich(er) man. His fight purses, bonuses and PPV take saw him bring home in excess of $20m per fight.

Taking on Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match would top it all. UFC president Dana White predicts he could earn $75m. McGregor says it will be north of $100m.

So, when it is all said and done and the Mayweather fight is in the history books, how does McGregor go back? Why does he go back?

That was the take of McGregor’s SBG teammate Gunnar Nelson during a wide-ranging interview with Submission Radio. Nelson said:

“You never know what he’s going to do next.

“If he beats Mayweather, I’m not sure that he will ever fight again, to be honest. I don’t know, but I could see him just floating off and doing something else crazy.”

Nelson believes a fight against a fully fit Khabib Nurmagomedov would tempt McGregor to go back and defend his UFC lightweight belt but he is not holding his breath.

Asked why he felt McGregor could walk away, Nelson replied:

“I’m basing it on that he wants to go bigger every time.

“And if he beats Mayweather – like, he’s taken two belts, and then he beats Mayweather in this huge super-fight – I’m not sure what he’s going to see as a next challenge or a next thing that he wants to do.

“I just don’t really see what he wants to come into the UFC again for. I’m not sure.”

Considering McGregor grew up as an absolutely massive UFC fan, one imagines he would be lured back but the pay-cheques and PPV shares may have to increase.