Saturday 20 July 2019

McGregor indicates that Tony Ferguson is the 'most likely' option available to him for his next fight

Jack O'Toole

Conor McGregor has said that trying to unify the UFC's Lightweight division is the 'most likely' option available to him after appearing on The Late Late Show on Friday.

McGregor has not fought in the UFC since winning the Lightweight belt in November of last year, and although he has said that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Nate Diaz is a possibility, the Dubliner said that he will first look to fight UFC interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson.

"A trilogy fight with [Nate] Diaz would be a defence of the belt, it would be at the 155 pound division," said McGregor.

"There's another contender [Tony Ferguson] that's won the interim title in the lightweight division.. that's probably most likely.. to unify the belts and to bring order back to the division and then we'll see after that. Of course, all those options are there.

"I've got the boxing world clawing to get me back, I've got the MMA world clawing to get me, they all want a piece, they all want to whoop my ass, I've just got to stay sharp, make the right decisions, make the right moves and figure it out.

"We're in negotiations and we'll see what takes place."

McGregor has four fights left on his current deal with the UFC but he insisted after his win over Eddie Alvarez last year that the UFC brass needed to come talk to him about an equity stake before he returns to the promotion.

McGregor's representation and the UFC have been quiet on the issue but there’s an argument to be made that he deserves equity.

A 2016 study by MMA journalist John Nash revealed that the average pay-per-view makes €16.85 million for the UFC. The average McGregor event makes €50.5 million for the UFC, with McGregor earning between €8-10 million for each fight.

McGregor added that he is exploring a number of different avenues to create sustainable revenue streams away from fighting, including his own whiskey line and collection of suits, but that he plans on continuing to fight for the foreseeable future.

"I will most certainly compete for the next couple of years anyway and then I'll see where it is. I could have cut it off yesterday. I don't really have like a date and an age because I use it from a damage taking standpoint. How many blows have I taken? That's the true danger in combat sport.

"We're in negotiation stage and a new deal is being talked about. Things that would interest me now is longevity, equity in the company, to be apart of the organisation as a whole post-fight to promote.

"I was a promoter for the Mayweather fight, I was on promoter money and fight money, which was the first time I was on that, so now we're in a new stage, we're in negotiation stage and we'll see where it goes but everyone has a price."

UFC President Dana White was upbeat about negotiations and said that McGregor has been easy to deal with throughout the entire process.

“As we go into negotiations with Conor there’s always all kinds of crazy stuff out there,” White said at the UFC 217 press conference on Thursday. “We always get deals done with Conor. Conor has been easy to deal with, and we’ll get it done.”

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