Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who also held gold at 145 pounds, had an opportunity to escape his restrictive UFC contract back in late 2017, but instead chose to bring Dana White and Co. into his boxing match against pugilistic icon Floyd Mayweather.
That’s according to former UFC champ Randy Couture.
“As soon as he got a boxing license, he rendered his UFC contract null and void,” Couture told MMA Fighting (transcribed by Tim Bissell). “He had the protections of the Muhammad Ali Act when he became an official boxer with that boxing number and he chose to bring Dana White and company back into that fight when he could have done all that on his own, kept all that money to himself and shined a light on the problem in mixed martial arts. He chose not to do that. He made $100 million off that fight with Floyd Mayweather. That’s more than he’ll probably ever make in mixed martial arts to be truthful.”
I’m not sure Couture is the best source for UFC contracts, based on this debacle.
It’s also worth pointing out that McGregor was promoted and paid by UFC for his fight with Mayweather back in summer 2017, which is why UFC President Dana White had to file for co-promotion with the “Money” Team — as well as Premier Boxing Champions — which imported “Prelims” fighters for the “Sin City” pay-per-view (PPV) event.
Read the legal language on that deal here.
McGregor was (and still remains) under contract to UFC and the only way out of his commitment is to satisfy the remaining bouts under his current deal, or take the promotion to court and sue them for release, which is likely to take far longer than actually competing.
Just ask this guy.