In November, UFC lightweight champion and former featherweight champ Conor McGregor obtained his boxing license in the state of California, leading many to believe the hotly-rumored crossover bout with retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. (pictured) could soon move from fiction to fact.
According to Mayweather, he tried to arrange a boxing match with the UFC’s cash cow, even going as far as laying out the financial terms.
“We tried to make the Conor McGregor fight,” Mayweather revealed on Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s First Take. “Well, we tried to make the Conor McGregor fight, they knew what my number is. My number was a guaranteed $100 million, that was my number. We’re the A-side.
“And I don’t really know how much money he has made before. I don’t really know how much money Conor McGregor has made, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even made $10 million in a MMA bout. But we are willing to give him $15 million, and then we can talk about splitting the percentage, the back-end percentage on pay-per-view. But of course, we’re the A-side. How can a guy talk about $20 or $30 million if he’s never even made $8 or $9 million?”
Prior to blasting Eddie Alvarez in November at UFC 205 to capture the lightweight belt to become the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two different titles, McGregor boasted he expected make $40 million by the end of 2016.
McGregor scored a then-UFC record disclosed salary of $1 million in his shocking submission loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. He tripled that number in their rematch at UFC 202. It is unknown what McGregor’s disclosed salary for UFC 205 was because the New York State Athletic Commission, the governing body who sanctioned the historic event, doesn’t disclose salaries.
Of course, those numbers pale in comparison to what McGregor pocketed in total after receiving his share of those shows’ respective PPV buys.
However, McGregor’s financials are a drop in the bucket to “Money” Mayweather. According to Forbes, Mayweather had already banked more than $420 million entering his highly anticipated showdown with Manny Pacquiao in 2015. He made a guaranteed $100 million for that fight, and reportedly walked away with $130 million more after receiving his piece of the PPV pie.
Mayweather retired four months later after bumping his immaculate boxing record to 49-0 by posting a ho-hum win over Andre Berto.
While McGregor might be combat sports’ current flavor of the month, it’s understandable why Mayweather believes he should be the “A-side” if this fight ever came to fruition. And he’s more than ready to put pen to paper.
“I’m saying right here on this show, Conor McGregor keep telling everybody he want the fight, let’s make it happen,” Mayweather deadpanned. “The only thing I’m probably interested in [if I came out of retirement], is probably the Conor McGregor fight. I’m a business man and it makes more business sense.”
After beating Alvarez, McGregor claimed he would be happy to face Mayweather in a boxing match, but only if he received a nine-figure payday.
“He wants it under boxing rules. He wants a boxing match. He doesn’t want a fight. Tell Floyd and Showtime, I’m coming. Tell him to go to them Showtime offices. I want $100 million cash to fight you under boxing rules cause he’s afraid of a real fight,” McGregor stated at the time.
Mayweather, 39, is currently enjoying retirement, while McGregor, 28, isn’t expected back inside the cage until mid- to late-2017 (depending upon who you ask).
UFC president Dana White, for one, previously predicted Mayweather vs. McGregor wouldn’t happen.
“He’s not fighting Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather isn’t going to fight him. It’s not going to happen. If you look at the biggest fight anybody ever talked about was Manny Paquiao-Floyd Mayweather. Look how long it took to make that fight, and those guys are in the same sport,” White said. “I’m not taking anything away from Floyd. No matter what you’re doing, to go undefeated for 20 years, it’s a huge feat. But Floyd has been perfect fighting the right guys at the right time. He isn’t gonna get in there and mix it up with Conor.”