McGregor Fans the Floyd Flames and Declares He Is "Focused on Returning"

Fightland Blog

By Peter Carroll

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Conor McGregor and UFC seem to have patched things up after what the Irishman called a “publicized civil war” in his latest interview for Sportscenter.

The relationship between the Irish superstar and the promotion had been perceived to be at a standstill following his short-lived retirement after not traveling to a press conference for UFC 200. In a reaction to McGregor failing to adhere to his press obligations, UFC pulled his rematch with Nate Diaz from the marquee event.

In his interview on Sportscenter, which was broadcast yesterday, ‘The Notorious’ claimed he was “deep in the process” of focusing on the rematch when he was asked to travel for press obligations.

“It was a publicized civil war,” he explained. “I was going through some things there were some crazy things going on at home. I wanted to focus on my training.

“I was in a time where I was figuring out something. I didn’t just shut out and say no to everything. I just wanted to do reasonable media. Then all of a sudden it’s (putting an imaginary phone to his ear), ‘hey Conor, it’s three months from the fight. We’ve got drag you on 40 hours of flights to come and do a run around–New York, Vegas, California–70 press conferences, 70 talk shows, adverts…’

“I was like, ‘I only made you 400 million last week! That was only last week, that fight. I need to get right’. That’s how that came about. I just wanted to focus and I was deep in the process.”

Asked about his future with UFC, McGregor was adamant that he was fully dedicated to his fighting career. 

“I’m committed to the fight game. I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges, so if a challenge is in front of me and it appeals to me, then I will go and I will conquer it.”

He added: “I’m open to challenges.”

Mirroring the sentiments he outlined in a social media post during his standoff with UFC, McGregor insisted that he has a great desire to prove himself on his return to the Octagon.

“You know, there’s something burning in me. I feel like my gut has been emptied again. I don’t let anything outside interfere with it, as you can tell since all of that stuff blew up. I’m very focused on returning, 100 percent.”

Floyd Mayweather has continued to lead the press on a merry dance with his claims that he wants to face Conor McGregor in the squared circle.

McGregor and the UFC seem to be on good terms following their meeting in Beverly Hills on Wednesday. Yet, ‘The Notorious’ claimed that he would discuss a potential bout with the unbeaten champion, but the figures ‘Money’ has mentioned would have to increase significantly if a fight were ever to go ahead.

“I hear the boy talking,” said McGregor when asked about Mayweather’s interest. “The leak came out and it was him that leaked the rumor. He said he gets 100 million and get seven million. That’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing was where the money was at. The seven million is absolutely laughable. He’s talking 100 million and I’m also talking 100 million.

“I’m 27 years of age and I’m just about halfway through a $100 million contract. At 27 years of age, Floyd Mayweather was on Oscar De la Hoya’s undercard. So, compare that. Who wants to conquer both worlds? He’s getting old now. I’ve got the size, I’ve got the reach and I’ve got the height. I’ve got the youth.

“He needs me, I don’t need him. That’s the truth of it. Who else can he fight? He fights someone from the boxing realm and all of a sudden the pay goes from 100 million to 15 million. He needs me. If he wants to talk we can talk, but it’s me who is in control here.”

One of the major issues fight fans seem to have with the proposed bout between Mayweather and McGregor is the fact that the victor would be quite obvious depending on what discipline it was contested in. Mayweather, one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time, should easily be able to outbox McGregor. The Irishman should easily be able to completely dominate ‘Money’ in an MMA bout.

McGregor agreed with Mayweather’s thought that the fight would have to be a boxing bout. He also claimed that if his focus was just on boxing instead of the entire realm of mixed martial arts, it would be like a load off his shoulder.

“Again, I don’t really care about the rules. He can make all the rules he wants. I know he will not want to fight in a mixed martial arts contest, in a true fight. If he wants to fight in a limited fight that’s no problem. I will set aside the many other forms of fighting I practice in and I will focus on one particular craft.

“I’m in the game of spinning plates. I’m spinning a boxing plate, I’m spinning a taekwondo plate, I’m spinning a jiu-jitsu plate, I’m spinning a freestyle wrestling plate, a karate plate.

“There are so many spinning plates in this game. If I was to put them all down and have one boxing plate spinning, it would be like a load off my shoulders.”

Whether UFC will take issue with Mayweather and McGregor expressing interest in a cross-platform fight remains to be seen. Currently under contract with Zuffa, the featherweight champion would be unable to fight Mayweather unless the promotion signed off on the sensational contest. 


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