Conor McGregor is a rich, rich man after his TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather. He went out there and didn’t embarrass himself and yet again saw his star rise with a loss as he did against Nate Diaz at UFC 196. So what’s next for Conor McGregor?
There are three options: He goes back to MMA, he sticks with boxing, or he retires.
He goes back to MMA.
He is far and away the UFC’s biggest star. Jon Jones just went down with another PED suspension and could be gone for a long time. Ronda Rousey has disappeared. There’s no one left, but Conor. The UFC needs him and they’re going to have to pay because he has all the leverage. The UFC is constantly producing people to challenge in every division no matter how interested the public is. Fighters have been calling out McGregor for years and he’s even bigger now. He can have any fight he wants in a number of divisions. Everyone from 145 to 155 to 170 wants a piece of McGregor and the money and fame that comes with it.
But is there enough money involved for a guy who just made in the neighborhood of $100 million in a single night?
McGregor’s most recent UFC pay was $3 million a fight before adding in an untold amount of pay-per-view revenue. Forbes suggested that his estimated take from recent fights could be up around $10 million, but that’s a very optimistic view. He got a $1 million paycheck from the UFC for the first time in March 2016. He made $3 million in his rematch against Nate Diaz (and another $11.5 million allegedly from his cut of the Pay Per View money). And you only have to go back to December 2015 to see McGregor making $500,000 when he fought Jose Aldo.
McGregor will easily clear more for his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather than he did in his entire mixed martial arts career up to this point. And it will take him more than a few UFC fights to catch up to his boxing earnings.
George St. Pierre is fighting Michael Bisping in November. After that? McGregor – GSP could be the biggest MMA fight of all-time. That would be the best case scenario for everyone except Conor McGregor.
He sticks to boxing.
A rematch with Floyd Mayweather? Sure. It’s easy money for everyone, but it won’t come close to making as much as this weekend’s fight. Why would anyone want or need to see the same thing again? And this isn’t just about what Conor wants. You need to make this worth enough for Floyd Mayweather to get out of bed. A rematch with Manny Pacquiao never materialized and that would have made a lot of money. This was Floyd’s first fight in nearly two years. How long until he’s gambled away enough money to necessitate him fighting again in his 40’s?
So who else could McGregor fight? Former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi? Who wouldn’t want to pay to see a guy coming off a loss to Sam Eggington? (Most people.)
So how about the winner or loser of Canelo Alvarez – Gennady Golovkin? Two great boxers, but they won’t be able to recreate the media circus of Maywather – McGregor. People will tune in, but in lower numbers at a lower PPV price.
And neither of those guys will play with their food the way that Mayweather did. They won’t wait for Conor to get tired before they finish the fight. They’re both younger than Floyd and finish people much more often.
And then what? Conor isn’t about to launch an epic boxing career. Sure, we wanted to see him box Floyd Mayweather, but that’s really it, right? He got worked by a 40-year old who barely deigned to throw any punches early in the fight.
Consider the Mayweather caper his one last job. He made Rio drug lord police station safe money and he can walk away forever now. His family is set for life. There’s not enough money in the UFC and boxing is too dangerous. He’s an exciting personality, but how many name boxers are there and he’s going to lose every single one of those fights. And in MMA he’s eventually going to lose too. I mean, he already lost to Nate Diaz last year. How many times can he use a loss to springboard himself to more riches in sports where all success is built on winning? He’s like Kramer going to fantasy camp. All he does is fall ass-backwards into money. How much longer can that possibly last?
If he’s as smart of a businessman as he wants people to believe, he’ll take all that money and find something smart to do with it. I have no idea what that is, but as Floyd Mayweather proved long ago, you don’t make real money when you’re working for someone else.
He does it all.
He’s a fighter so he’ll want to fight. There is still some money to be squeezed from the stone, so he’ll try to box. He’ll take some more big money UFC fights. Or maybe he’ll try to break free and do it on his own. He’s got money for legal fees to fight the UFC for his freedom so he can promote himself and not share all the money people specifically want to give him. Not Dana White. Not the UFC or WMG.
Conor McGregor Money. Who knows what he’ll do or how he’ll do it, but that’s the goal.