This week’s edition of the Sunday Supplement takes an in depth look at the big highlights from “An Experience With Conor McGregor,” the live and PPV interview with McGregor conducted and broadcast online on Saturday night.
An Experience with Conor McGregor
While the UFC held their first Fox event of the year, headlined by Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena, emanating from Denver, Colorado, the UFC’s biggest star was holding an event of his own across the pond.
“An Experience with Conor McGregor” took place on Saturday night live from Manchester, England with a paying audience of 5,000 in the EventCity venue.
The event saw an hour long interview with McGregor, conducted by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. McGregor answered a lot of burning questions surrounding him involving Floyd Mayweather, the UFC, a possible Nate Diaz trilogy fight, WWE and more.
This event is another case of McGregor showing off his drawing power without the UFC being involved, becoming less of a UFC fighter and even more of an overall businessman with crossover intentions.
He will go where ever the money is – back to the UFC, boxing, acting, the WWE – and this type of event shows that he wants to call his own shots at this point. The fact that he hasn’t said much since UFC 205 and now comes out with his own live PPV show is very clever. Not only does he continue to grab the headlines, but instead of giving everything away, he is making money from it now. That is smart business.
People are willing to pay to see what he has to say and they did, opening up yet another revenue stream for McGregor who is riding his wave of momentum to the maximum.
Adding to the chaos and hysteria that surrounds McGregor in everything he does, a mass fight even broke out outside EventCity following the event, where several people were left with injuries.
During the event though he gave the people what they wanted and discussed the big topics on everyone’s mind.
First of all, the ever-present story of McGregor vs. Mayweather, with McGregor making his first in-depth comments since the Dana White offer and Mayweather rebuttal from a few weeks back.
“Look, there’s are a lot of steps to get the fight done, but it’s the fight to make, it’s the fight that people want,” he said. “It’s the fight that I want. Once we come to a set number that I’m happy with, [Mayweather’s] happy with – then we go to the customers. Then we go to the promoters, the buyers. Then we get it done. That’s next. I’ll go to Vegas … We’ll figure that situation out, and then we’ll come to the dotted line, and then we’ll go. But this is happening.”
He also addressed the UFC’s possible involvement as well as announcing his intention to be a co-promoter of the fight himself with his newly formed, McGregor Promotions.
“Everyone’s got to know their place,” McGregor said. “There’s Mayweather Promotions, there’s the UFC, and now there’s the newly formed McGregor Promotions. And we’re all in the mix.”
“Nobody’s my boss,” McGregor continued. “I know Floyd likes to say Dana’s my boss. Hell no. Nobody decides this. If [the UFC brass] let people go fight jiu-jitsu tournaments, they can’t stop me going to fight a boxing fight.”
McGregor makes a good point here regarding fighters being allowed to compete in grappling tournaments while under contract to the UFC. However, the UFC really want a slice of the McGregor-Mayweather pie and I could never see them willingly agree to let their biggest star have a major fight without their involvement or without them making money off, what would be a huge money super-fight.
McGregor believes that all three parties will be able to come to an agreement soon. “I believe it will happen by the end of this year or early next year,” he said. He then proclaimed that this would be the first-ever billion dollar fight.
Dana White commented on the fight once again on Saturday night after UFC on FOX 23. He said that if McGregor attempted to fight Mayweather without the UFC promoting, it would be a failure.
“When you’re about to do a pay-per-view that you’re charging five bucks to listen to you talk, I’m sure you’ve got to say some pretty crazy sh–, alright?” White said at the UFC on FOX 23 post-fight news conference. “You know how I feel about Conor, I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect, and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall.”
Of course, a McGregor-Mayweather fight would not be an “epic fail.” With or without the UFC, it would be a massive deal, perhaps one of the biggest fights of all time and Dana White knows that, hence the reason why he is really pushing for UFC to be involved. They don’t want to miss out on being a part of it.
White made it clear again in the interview that he’s still not expecting the fight to take place and that it would have a lot of hurdles to clear to even get close to coming together. White even made a sarcastic joke about the chances of the fight taking place. “Will it happen?” White asked. “Here’s what I think the chances are: About the same as me being the backup quarterback for Brady on Sunday.”
Despite White’s comments, both McGregor and Mayweather seem to be pretty confident that the fight will happen and a lot sooner than people may think. It’s going to be a very interesting ride, whether the fight actually happens or not.
McGregor is focused solely on the Mayweather fight, but did make comments on a possible trilogy fight with Nate Diaz.
That being said, McGregor reiterated his past comments that, before all is said and done, he and Diaz will square off to settle the rubber match.
“Don’t get me wrong, me and Nate will throw down again, 100 percent,” McGregor said. “It’s one apiece. We’ll finish it off. I’d imagine it will be for the Lightweight World Title, 155. It could be like a skeleton wrapped in cling film. If his team is wise, they’ll talk him out of it. They’ll say, ‘You’ve made some money, your face is drooping to the left, your speech is slurred. Chill now. Enjoy the money.’ But they’re not the most intelligent people, so I’m sure me and Nate will go again.”
McGregor also gave his thoughts on a video from December which saw Diaz and Mayweather sharing laughs on Facetime over McGregor.
“When he had that video call, he should’ve been on the other end of that line, and when Floyd was saying ‘You made McGregor tapout,’ he’s like, ‘Yeah, I did,’ and Floyd is saying, ‘I’m going to finish the job.’ He should’ve said, ‘Shut your f—ing mouth or I’ll strangle you too,’ and then post that everywhere. And then all of a sudden, it would’ve been like, f— Floyd. It would’ve been me and Nate again. But he was Floyd’s bitch that night. He was Floyd’s employee that night. So look, f— Nate. F— Nick. F— the Diaz Brothers. And if you want to be down with the Diaz Brothers, then f— you too.”
As for the others in the UFC who are looking to get the big fight against McGregor, he made his thoughts on them clear and reiterated his desire and focus for the Mayweather fight.
“F—- every one of them,” he said. “Did you see Anderson (Silva)? What’s Anderson talking about? He keeps mentioning my name over and over again. Look, I’ll fight any one of them. Make sure the numbers are right. Make sure the situation is right.”
“Khabib (Nurmagomedov), what the f—- his name is, Tony (Ferguson), Jose (Aldo), even (Tyron) Woodley for the third (title at Welterweight) — it’s not (the Mayweather fight).”
Lastly, another big rumour has been a possible McGregor appearance with WWE at WrestleMania 33.
It’s no secret that the WWE have been perusing McGregor. McGregor, of course, threw shots at WWE stars last year which created a big story and WWE Executive V.P., Triple H, was at UFC 205 to watch McGregor and publicly acknowledge the WWE’s interest in the Irishman.
A report came out this week that McGregor turned down a “hefty offer” to appear at WrestleMania 33 in April. However, during the interview on Saturday, McGregor claimed that door hasn’t closed on a possible appearance yet, something which Floyd Mayweather has also done previously at WrestleMania 24. McGregor said conversations are ongoing between both parties.
“Never say never, I’d love to go into WWE and have a real knock and see what’s what. We’ll see. Conversations are still ongoing.”
Conor McGregor has a full plate, personally and professionally at the moment. Everyone wants a piece of him and he is seemingly everywhere. It’s all about the money at this point in his career, and the big money is in McGregor vs. Mayweather. Whether that will be his next fight remains to be seen. Most likely we will see him back in the UFC before this super-fight gets anywhere near to being made real. Whatever happens, Conor McGregor is looking to make hay while the sun is shining, and he is doing just that.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: THE SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT 1/22: Chael Sonnen vs. Tito Ortiz Controversy – Did it look like a shoot or more like a fix?
(D.R. Webster writes “The Sunday Supplement” for MMATorch each week and also authors the MMATorch Daily Trivia feature. He has written for Daily Record Sport, WrestleTalk TV, Sports Kings, and a variety of other combat sports sites and publications, including review shows and DVDs, news reporting, columns, and fantasy articles.)