Conor McGregor is less than one week away from challenging Nate Diaz for Octagon supremacy for a second time at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star is facing the biggest fight of his life as he attempts to put a UFC 196 loss to Diaz completely behind him entering 2017.
The two were originally scheduled to rematch at UFC 200, but missed media obligations forced UFC's hand to yank the Irish champion from the main event. As a result, McGregor is being more cautious with his time leading up to UFC 202. According to "Notorious," the new gym he had constructed in Las Vegas has helped with his travel and preparation, as well as potentially sparking a new business venture.
"One of the battles I've had with UFC, the ongoing battle, is the media obligations," said McGregor when asked about his new "makeshift" gym during his UFC 202 press day Q&A (click here for full video). "Obviously I was pulled from [UFC] 200 over it, but they came back with a load of new ones and I was like, 'Look, I'll do a certain amount of stuff but I want the gym. Hook me up a gym.' We went back and forth and that didn't happen, and then the UFC GYM people, which are separate to the UFC, they said they would build a gym for me. They built this gym up, I sourced the location for it, but they built it like within a day."
Wow. Seems like UFC GYM pulled a lot of strings to get "Notorious" the gym he needed. According to McGregor, he walked in and saw a full Octagon canvas, Dollamur mats, heavy bags and all the equipment he needed. Whoever was in charge of erecting a gym for the most iconic figure in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, job well done.
"This could be the start of a relationship with the UFC GYM," added McGregor. "Maybe I will take the European rights and bring the UFC gyms all across Europe. We'll see. We're in current talks with that, but I am grateful for their help in this one"
With a stranglehold on Europe's MMA scene, specifically Ireland, McGregor could certainly help expand the UFC GYM brand in countless locations. Being the top-level businessman that he is, it's likely that a deal will get done for him to own some portion of the UFC GYM operation overseas.
But first, before any big deals are signed, McGregor must dispose of Diaz on Aug. 20.
Stick with Mania as more UFC 202 news and coverage becomes available.