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McGregor teases boxing return but is it for real, a negotiating tactic, or just hot air?

If Conor McGregor can’t get the right amount of money out of the UFC, we don’t doubt he’d jump back to boxing.

Conor McGregor is at it again.

We were just wondering what the hell UFC president Dana White was doing up on a Friday night delving deep into his Twitter mentions and serving up steaming roasts to the 17 year olds who dare question his matchmaking. But Conor McGregor pops up on social media almost every weekend too, spitting out a blend of Proper Twelve whiskey promotion and random trash or praise about whatever combat sport is going down.

At least that makes more sense than White’s behavior. McGregor has product to promote, most importantly himself. With his thumb broken and his UFC contract apparently unsatisfactory, there’s no sign when the former champ champ will return to action in the cage or otherwise. So onto social media he goes to make sure he still generates headlines. My job is to try and filter out the swaggering braggadocio and just pass on the more relevant stuff. It’s questionable whether this latest tweet is up to snuff:

”Boxing is great, I am going to relish another go!” McGregor wrote shortly after watching Irish boxer Katie Taylor became the undisputed lightweight champion on Saturday night. “I challenge Juan Manuel Mayweather to a rematch. Under the tutelage of my old club. We’ll see then mate.”

Now is this just more empty talk or is there something to it?

There’s a few things to consider when trying to determine how serious McGregor is being. The first is that he was very close to locking up a return date against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone until negotiations broke down over a number of issues. McGregor has once again been talking about getting equity in the UFC, something Dana White has said will never happen. Meanwhile, the UFC didn’t just shut down that request, they were demanding McGregor give up the headline slot of the card. So there’s definitely a pretty big gap between what Conor McGregor wants and how the UFC is trying to treat him.

With that in mind, why wouldn’t McGregor consider another boxing match instead? There’s way more money to be made in the ring than the cage. And “Notorious” made it clear when trying to force the Mayweather fight into existence the first time around that the Muhammad Ali act would let him ditch out of his UFC contract for a boxing match.

“With the Ali act I believe I can,” he declared back in January of 2017. “But I think it’s smoother with all involved. I think we’re all about good business. I’ve done great business with the UFC, with Dana and everyone. But again, everyone’s gotta know their place. So we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Around the same time, McGregor started applying for boxing licenses in various states ... but things never went further than that as the UFC finally decided to get on board and make Mayweather vs. McGregor a reality. This wasn’t McGregor’s last flirt with the Ali act. After his boxing debut, there was talk that he might speak in front of the US Congress in favor of extending the act to cover MMA fighters as well. That never came together for whatever reason, but it all points towards McGregor being a man ready to fight the system if it won’t give him what he wants.

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Made man not made for defeat.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

For all the razzing we give him for sitting on the sidelines endlessly talking trash on social media, the guy has been training hard for months now. When he went on a Proper Twelve whiskey promotional tour on St. Patricks Day, he brought his McGregorFast conditioning team with him. Looking at his Instagram shows someone preparing for a fight. In which sport? We figure that depends on whether something can be worked out with the UFC.

Conor talking up another foray into boxing could be nothing more than a bit of hot air at this moment, but it has the potential to turn into a tornado if a deal can’t be reached with the UFC. Because McGregor is clearly not done fighting, and he’s not the type to take a deal he’s not happy with, either. So what other option is there?

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