Conor McGregor has laid out his terms to make a return to the UFC.
Just after winning the lightweight championship in 2016, the 29-year-old Irishman said that he wanted to get an ownership stake in the UFC or to co-promote with the organization going forward or he may not fight again.
It appears McGregor is sticking to his guns, as he’s just recently started to negotiate with the UFC on his next fight following a payday in his last bout against Floyd Mayweather. His foray into boxing is expected to earn him north of $100 million.
For that show, McGregor’s own company — McGregor Sports and Entertainment — was a co-promoter alongside Mayweather Promotions and he’s seeking the same kind of deal with the UFC or he’ll move on to other endeavors outside of the Octagon.
“We’ll see. We’re currently in contract negotiations. There’s a couple of opponents, different sports now in place. You’ve got the boxing game also clawing to get me in. So we’re at the contract negotiation stage. That’s it,” McGregor said to reporters at the premiere of his new documentary titled “Notorious.”
“They’ve got to entice me now because I came from a billion-dollar fight, so they’ve got to entice me with something. I want equity. I want ownership. I want to be true partners in this, similar to the way I was in the Floyd fight. I was a promoter and I was a fighter. That must continue for me to continue. Otherwise, I’ve got many entities and many other interests that I can carry on. Also, I’m already set [financially], but we’re in negotiations.”
While the UFC has never co-promoted with another organization or fighter before, McGregor is in a unique situation considering the kind of drawing power he commands at the ticket office and on pay-per-view at a time when the sport is short on many superstars.
McGregor’s absence in the UFC has been strongly felt in 2017 with several pay-per-view cards reportedly drawing at record low numbers. Add to that, Ronda Rousey has all but retired from the sport and Jon Jones is currently on hold after testing positive for steroids following his last fight against Daniel Cormier. Jones’ punishment could extend up to four years.
That gives McGregor a lot of leverage when it comes to negotiating his return to the UFC.
“I certainly love to fight. I certainly have a belt to defend,” McGregor added. “I’m certainly interested in that. We’re in the negotiation stage.”