Conor McGregor sat down with 5,000 of his fans in Manchester, UK Saturday to discuss his past, present and future both inside MMA and outside of it. Speaking to host Ariel Helwani, and broadcasting via PPV for those not in attendance, McGregor dropped some absolute bombshells.
On the topic of his return to fighting (the lightweight champion is currently taking time off while expecting the birth of his first child, which he confirmed would be a boy), McGregor has his sights set firmly on Floyd Mayweather. Stating that his next fight would be inside a boxing ring, McGregor stated that
I have my eyes on one thing right now, and that’s Floyd Mayweather. That fight is more than just being explored. There’s a lot of steps, but it’s the fight to make. It’s the fight I want. I believe this is the first billion fight, so people have to pay for a billion dollar fight. I believe it will happen at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.
That leaves the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 out in the cold, at least for the time being. McGregor specifically referred to the two as “not on my level.” However, it’s hard to believe that the UFC will stand by and let McGregor sit until 2018. From McGregor’s perspective, however, the fight is going to happen – with or without the UFC. Suggesting that the Ali Act could help things, he claimed he would do the fight without them — though it would be easier with their support.
He also stated that his original “big announcement” following UFC 205 was to be the launch of McGregor Promotions. However, he nixed the idea at the last moment. The goal moving forward, however, is for McGregor Promotions to operate in conjunction with the UFC. That might be something of a pipe dream, though, as McGregor later stated that he had not talked to the UFC’s new ownership since New York.
Other interesting tidbits: in regards to an appearance with the WWE at this year’s WrestleMania, which McGregor was widely reported to have shot down recently, he said “never say never.” That may indicate talks are ongoing, and he’s simply looking out for a bigger payday. McGregor also noted that he recently turned down a role in Shane Black’s Predator reboot.
On Nate Diaz, despite a fair amount of trash talking, the lightweight champ did state he was open to a third fight. Claiming Nate was “at the back of the queue” he stated “I’ll get to Nate. Me and Nate will throw down again for the 155lb title.” He also suggested he was open to a superfight with Anderson Silva if the money was right.
Throughout the evening, McGregor would take various shots at the UFC, WWE (noting he stole his strut from Vince McMahon), Mayweather, Diaz, and even the MMAAA. McGregor suggested “that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life” in regards to the Mixed Martial Artists Athletes Association, and addressed Georges St. Pierre by saying “The only reason you’re standing in the middle of that union is because you couldn’t get the deal you wanted.”
Prior to the event, McGregor ripped into just about everyone on social media: