Conor McGregor was just recently talking about going on a journey back on top of the lightweight class when all of a sudden, he decided to retire from fighting.
The UFC’s biggest draw announced on Tuesday that he was hanging up his gloves, the second time he did in almost four years, which capped off his career with an impressive 21-4 win-loss record.
Many were surprised by his decision as he is still on his prime and has vowed to embark a journey back to the top of the food chain after an ugly loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, his second straight defeat in two years.
Prior to his shocking announcement, the Irish star has confirmed that a return on July is very likely, though he did not mention any name of his next opponent.
A potential clash with Donald Cerrone has been a possibility for Conor’s next outing, but “Cowboy” said the Irish star won’t do it unless it is the main event.
Now, UFC president Dana White has confirmed that the main event status was one of the issues he had to deal with during the negotiation with Conor.
In last week’s Q and A session with fans in Chicago, the Irish star revealed that he is currently negotiating with the UFC for his next fight and might return to actions this July.
He then said he is willing to star in a future co-main event bout if the organisation gives him “rightful shares in the company.” (Quotes from MMA Mania)
“I’m ready to fight, I’ve said that. No problem.”
“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.”
Not The Champion
Before McGregor shocked the MMA world with his retirement, White confirmed in a pair of interviews that the former two-division champion really wanted another headlining bout for his return.
“The Notorious” is the promotion’s biggest draw, holding the top three UFC pay-per-view records, but his boss insisted that a championship fight should headline a PPV event.
”Yeah that’s pretty much how we’ve done it for years,” he told UFC Unfiltered Podcast (transcript from MMA Mania).
“We’ve done a couple of fights where a championship fight wasn’t a main event, and it wasn’t very great. Didn’t work out very good.”
”The reality is it’s not really what we do, but the media has been telling me they wanna see it, the fans have been saying just do it, so … we’ll see what happens.”
In a chat with Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports’ My Mom’s Basement podcast, White said everyone would go nuts if he puts McGregor, who is not a champion now, in the main event.
“Every time I deal with Conor there’s always something to deal with, but we get it figured out.”
“We were gonna do – the fight that was going to be on the card with him was probably going to be the heavyweight championship. Should that be the co-main event?”
”Well, the more people I hear it from, the fans and the media and all this s**t, if I end up putting Conor McGregor not as a champion in the main event, I guess I won’t have to listen to any bulls**t, will I?”
“Everybody would go mental and nuts and chirping ‘Oh, you get favouritism.’”
”Conor McGregor is not the champion right now.”
“He’s ranked number 2 right now.”
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/UFC and Instagram/Conor McGregor)