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Everyone wants to know what Conor McGregor will do next. The Irishman has always excelled at creating options for himself in victory and in defeat. Despite losing a crossover boxing match to boxing icon Floyd Mayweather, McGregor has the world at his fingertips. He said as much in a recent press appearance, via SevereMMA.com:
We are currently in contract negotiations. There are a couple opponents, of course different sports now in play; the boxing game also clawing to get me in, so we’re in contract negotiation stage now and that’s it.
This is an unprecedented situation for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. They have never had a star bigger than the sport itself, which is what McGregor has grown into. In most contract negotiations, the UFC holds all the cards and fighters must take their terms. In this scenario, however, it is McGregor who holds the UFC over a barrel. They have no other big draws. Rousey is gone. Jon Jones is suspended; Georges St. Pierre returns this weekend, but it is uncertain he will still draw eyes in a manufactured fight in a division he has no history with. Anderson Silva has long since been relegated to obscurity on Fight Pass. To make matters worse, the bottom has dropped out on paid UFC viewership, with recent Pay-Per-Views (PPVs) averaging between 100-200,000 buys. With the recent sale for 4.2 billion dollars, and more recently the Fertittas getting out completely to raise that valuation to 5 billion, the UFC have high debt-driven earnings goals, and need McGregor badly in order to meet them.
They’ve got to entice me now, because I came from a billion-dollar fight. So, they’ve got to entice me with something. I want equity, I want ownership, I want partnership. I want to be true partners in this, similar to the way I was in the Floyd fight. I was both a promoter and I was a fighter. That must continue for me to continue. Otherwise, I’ve got many entities and many other interests that can carry on. Also, I’m already set. So, they must entice me.
McGregor crossing the class divide from fighter to owner and promoter would be an astonishing, unprecedented feat, akin to Neo exiting the Matrix, or Eärendil crossing the sea to set foot in immortal Valinor. Typically, fighters are criminally underpaid by the UFC monopsony, taking home far less than 20% of gross income (as opposed to 50% in team sports). That’s why the boxing comparison is relevant- the Ali Act prevents promoters from taking advantage of fighters to that degree- at least the fighters who are stars.
As his own promoter, McGregor could make easily over thirty million fighting a nobody like Paulie Malignaggi; that’s likely three times the amount, including PPV points, that he’s ever been paid for an MMA bout. McGregor knows the secret. He must become his own promoter, just like Mayweather, if he is to keep from being taken advantage of again.
That said, McGregor still wants to fight. He loves the fight game, and he knows he has a belt to defend.
But, we are in negotiations. I would certainly love to fight. I certainly have a belt to defend. I’m certainly interested in that. We are currently in the negotiation phase.
Let us hope the UFC are able to swallow their pride and come to McGregor with an offer worth his time.
Jon Jones got scared with his kids on Halloween:
Georges St. Pierre evidently thinks Bisping will need a tea break in their fight.
UFC Canada tweeting this at UFC Europe is great marketing ...
Jessica Eye just discovered this:
Vampires are for real....— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) November 2, 2017
I don’t know what is going on here, but man Urijah Faber looks dumb in those glasses ...
This is an absolutely incredible quote from Trevor Wittman on Namajunas’s mental battle as an abuse survivor. No one gets this real when it comes to the psychology of the fight game.
Cody Garbrandt is fast, man.
Bisping, not so much, but at least he threw punches in his open workout. I still don’t know what GSP looks like on the feet or even pads, years removed from his last bout.
Robert Whittaker DOES hit hard, to be fair.
Robert Whittaker hits hard and he wants you to know it: pic.twitter.com/y5NisEVO0i— Fury's Fight Picks (@FurysFightPicks) November 1, 2017
Darren Till and Robert Whiteford joking around on Twitter dot com:
Ben Saunders, who has been active on MMA Mania for a long time, has a personal message for Colby Covington:
Slips, Rips, and Wonderclips
Long pants kickboxing is weird but it is where Stephen Thompson got his start:
Stephen Thompson vs Jose Louriero pic.twitter.com/uKrAbsiT4o— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
Stephen Thompson vs Antoine McRae https://t.co/IOAFVgfUkf— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
Stephen Thompson vs Armin Mrkanovic https://t.co/TGq7rlt2KI— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
Stephen Thompson vs John Marzullo HL https://t.co/G00DWbzCCV— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
Stephen Thompson vs Carlos Tearney 1 https://t.co/Io2cP864b6— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
Stephen Thompson vs Carlos Tearney 2 https://t.co/RdWkWPDwr9— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
I had never seen this. Algieri also wrestled in college.
Former WBO super lightweight champion Chris Algieri (21-3 in pro boxing) competed in the WCL. Watch him get brutally knocked out: pic.twitter.com/D4anmkGG0P— Bestrafer7 (@Bestrafer7) November 2, 2017
I love this clip
Podcasts and Video
The MMA Outsiders Episode 4, with Phil Daru part two. AJ talks almost getting into knife fights and why he hates the Astros. Phil talks fighters who have cardio issues and Conor McGregor’s psyche. Check us out on SoundCloud as well as iTunes and Stitcher on the official MMA Mania channel! Just an FYI, the MMA Outsiders are looking for sponsors- send me a message on Facebook or Twitter if you want to be featured.
Andrew Richardson breaks down GSP’s takedown game. Follow MMA Mania on Youtube!
Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk full fight breakdown from Flyin’ Brian J:
And another for that one random fight happening later that evening:
Imagine being the guy off the street sparring Jon Fitch and punching him in the face as hard as possible, then hearing this:
Speaking of Jon Fitch, AJ and I interviewed him for next week’s podcast. We had a really interesting conversation about UFC’s treatment of its fighters and monopoly power, as well as life advice that gave my girlfriend way too much ammunition.
Heavy Hands previews UFC 217:
This is a legitimate complaint by James Vick on rankings:
The Astros won the World Series. Go Houston! Go this couple!