Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Conor McGregor has nothing but respect for promotion president (and Ferrari owner) Dana White -- despite this report -- as well as CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. After all, without them, there would be no "Notorious" superstar to dominate combat sports.
But McGregor is the one putting his neck on the line during each fight.
That's why the fiery Irishman will always be in association with ZUFFA, parent company of UFC, but was not coy about his plan to capture the lion's share of the earnings. Assuming, of course, he keeps winning and can fulfill promises like this one.
From Severe MMA:
"That's all horseshit, that is. I have a great relationship with Lorenzo and a great relationship with Dana. Don't get me wrong, I'm climbing that corporate ladder every damn day and we will be neck and neck. Maybe somewhere along the line I will take that lion's share. But we will always be together. Loyalty is what I have. They gave me this, they are helping me with this and I am helping them, we are a team, so much respect to Dana, much respect to Lorenzo, much respect to everyone involved in the UFC. I'm not trying to break out, I'm just trying to grow, be eye-to-eye and get my share of the fucking pie and that's it and they know that. I will always be in association with Zuffa and the great team at the UFC, it's an honor to grow with this company."
But he may have to grow internationally.
Probably because McGregor is getting tired of the long trips to the fight capital of the world and home base of his employer, even with a MacMansion to call home. So after he disposes of Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 next month in "Sin City," he'll honor his commitment to UFC 200 -- expected to be the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) event in history -- before setting sail.
Next stop? East Coast!
"Fuck Vegas. Serious. I want the East Coast next. If they don't give me Ireland, give me the East Coast, I'll go back to Boston. I know they're lobbying for New York. We had a great time when we went to Boston and the East Coast is not as far, it's a five-hour flight. I'll go back to the O2, no problem, or the 3Arena. I'll go back there and fight, I don't care if it's 9,000, whatever, if I've outgrown that. I haven't outgrown my home fuckin' town. I'm still here. Vegas this one, Vegas next one, probably because I committed to it, UFC 200, I did commit to that. But then fuckin' East Coast or Dublin."
I'm sure if MMA was to be legalized in New York, the promotion would have no problem putting McGregor inside Madison Square Garden (MSG). Outside of the "Big Apple," however, the options are a bit limited from a profitability standpoint.
TD Garden in Boston, Mass., a smoky casino in Atlantic City, N.J., Indian reservations in Conn., and the list goes on.