Well over a year after he fleeced the general public by charging $100 for a farce of a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor is finally preparing to step back into the UFC octagon to defend the Lightweight championship.
McGregor is scheduled to take on undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas on October 6 at UFC 229. It’s one of the biggest matchups in UFC history, and there’s a very good chance that McGregor will lose. For hardcore MMA fights, the fight sells itself — it features a brash, hard-hitting champion against a tough-as-nails elite level grappler. For more casual fight fans, though, you’d expect the McGregor Promotional Machine to be churning along nicely by now. After all, the fight is only six weeks away.
However, McGregor has been conspicuously quiet this time around. Perhaps he’s laying low after getting in trouble for attacking a bus before UFC 223 in April, or maybe he’s just sitting at home in Ireland recounting the millions of dollars he made from getting schooled by a 40-year-old retired boxer. According to Dave Meltzer, though, he’s simply skipping the circus.
One of the reasons you haven’t seen much in the way of interviews and such is that McGregor has not agreed to do anything. There are no press conferences scheduled because McGregor at this point hasn’t agreed to them. There is a lot of frustration within the UFC about McGregor’s attitude, but in the end, he’s got the leverage and the ticket sales and secondary market results only give him more leverage.
The feeling is that this may be the biggest non-boxing PPV of all-time, and the only reason it wouldn’t be is that McGregor hasn’t been pushing it hard. McGregor was able to get a larger piece of the action for this fight than any of his UFC fights to date, so there is a direct correlation more than ever between his work in promoting the fight and his pocket book, but this may also show that he knows he’s in a real fight and doesn’t want to break training.
It’s not the first time McGregor and the UFC have been at odds. Dana White proclaimed he was finished with the Irish superstar after the bus attack in April 2018, although he’s obviously backed off from those comments. McGregor also had his rematch with Nate Diaz pulled from the UFC 200 card because he refused to attend a press conference in the middle of his training camp.
Every fighter knows that promoting is part of the game, and those who are the best at self-promotion often end up making the most money. McGregor is fully aware that he is The Man when it comes to selling UFC pay-per-views right now, so he’s willing to push the limits to get his own way. His fight against Nurmagomedov could very well be the best-selling UFC card of all time, so the organization will have to simply grin and bear it.