Money equals power, if that is the case then Conor McGregor is the most powerful man in the UFC. Yes, he’s not defended a title. Yes, he hasn’t fought in the Octagon since November of 2016, but to rattle off those facts is to miss the point. He hasn’t done those things because he simply doesn’t have to. He defies all the laws — whether actual or forced onto MMA by the fans — that govern any other fighter. He’s earned this leverage by earning more for himself and his company than anyone ever before him. It’s those reasons why Randy Couture thinks the man absolutely deserves whatever he’s asking for.
“[Conor McGregor]’s the poster child for why we need the amendment for Mixed Martial Arts. It will be interesting to see if he comes back to MMA. There’s been a lot of rumors and a lot of talk. Has he been stripped of both his titles? Is he gonna come back and fight again? What’s gonna happen? Who’s he gonna fight? And the big question, what’s he gonna get paid after just getting paid 100 million dollars for a boxing match, even though it was just an exhibition and not for a title? What’s he gonna get paid the next time that he comes back and fights in MMA under the UFC moniker? Why would he expect to get paid any less than he got for boxing? I can guarantee you they are not gonna give him that kind of money. So again, why? What’s the difference? Where is the flaw here?”
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don’t give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“It’s all these things that I’ve been talking about with regards to why we need to be protected by the federal legislation. There needs to be transparency in our sport. The exclusive contracts need to be eliminated. We shouldn’t be coerced into giving away all these things in order to be ranked and fight for a title. I should be able to know how much money is made off of any show that I fight in, so I can negotiate for my share of that, my portion of that. So if I’m Conor McGregor, he probably feels like he deserves a bigger piece, and certainly 15 percent of it or 17 percent of it as he’s the guy putting butts in seats and having people sell pay-per-views. So all those things get brought into question by what Conor’s done so far. We would love to obviously have him involved and testify or be involved in pushing the Ali Act through. He’s aware of us, but so far he’s been very focused on his own deal and doing his own deal. So it will be interesting to see how that shakes out for him.” — Randy Couture speaking to Submission Radio.
This is something that has been building since UFC 205 when Conor McGregor became the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously. In the post-fight press conference, he made a stand that he rightfully deserves equity in the company. Whatever your opinion on McGregor, numbers don’t lie. When he was fighting, he drew twice as many buys in a single year than the UFC did in the entirety of 2014. He also broke the long-standing PPV buy record set by UFC 100 with his second fight with Nate Diaz. As Couture said, he does ‘put the butts’ in seats and no one — not even Georges St-Pierre in his return — has done it since his hiatus. If any fighter ever deserved it, McGregor does.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/8/2018.