Conor McGregor doesn’t appear to be too interested in fighting without a crowd.
McGregor has been adamant of having three fights in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic that may not happen. Although the Irishman has hinted at a summertime return, according to UFC president, Dana White, the former champ-champ doesn’t like the idea of competing without a crowd but would understand if that’s what he had to do.
For White and the UFC, he feels the same way as he admits it would be hard to do a Conor McGregor fight without getting the gate money.
“It’s tough to give up a Conor McGregor gate. It’s tough to do. I talked to him yesterday and he wants to fight,” Dana White said during a media scrum. “He’s excited about tomorrow too, he was like, ‘This is so awesome. Good luck tomorrow, I hope this goes off well.’ He doesn’t like the idea of fighting without a crowd either. But, he wants to fight. So I don’t know, we’ll have to see how this thing plays out.
“You do a Conor McGregor fight in the right place, you can do an $18 million gate. That’s a big number to give up. Even giving up five million, I mean this [UFC 249 main event] was supposed to be [Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson], sold out in minutes, and was like a five-and-a-half million dollar gate.”
Conor McGregor returned to the win column last time out with a 40-second knockout win over Donald Cerrone. Who he will fight next is to be seen, as names like Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz have come up in recent weeks. But, the Irishman has made it clear he wants his rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
If Conor McGregor and the UFC end up delaying his next fight until there can be a crowd, it could be several months until we see the Irishman back in the Octagon again.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/8/2020.