There was a minor kerfuffle earlier this month when longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) “Cowboy,” Donald Cerrone, told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that his oft-teased Conor McGregor fight would never come to fruition because “Notorious” refused to fight in a pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event.
McGregor, however, insists that’s not the case and would gladly compete in any spot on the main card, or even the ESPN+ “Prelims,” if the promotion was willing to compensate him accordingly. Simply put, “Notorious” knows his name equates to more PPV buys and wants his piece of the billion-dollar pie.
“I’m ready to fight, I’ve said that. No problem,” McGregor said (via BJPenn.com). “If the UFC wants me to slide into that co-main event slot and help, what that is, if I slide into the co-main event, it’s boosting their brand over fighter rhetoric that they have. There’s no problem with that. 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+ but just give me my shares.”
This isn’t the first time McGregor asked to become part owner, and it’s not going to be the first time he’s shot down, either. True, many celebrities under the Endeavor banner — parent company of UFC — have minority shares, but I think “Notorious” wants to go bigger.
Unfortunately, his stock may be in decline. While he remains the most popular fighter of his era, backed by record-setting numbers at the box office, he’s also coming off consecutive losses to Floyd Mayweather (boxing) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (MMA) and has just one cage fight since late 2016.
Then again, being behind bars might count as a cage, kinda/sorta.