Anyone who’s anyone knows that if you’re going to make it in the world, whether it be toppling the financial markets, conquering the acting world, or dominating the sporting landscaping, you’ll need to feature in some of the world’s best ‘rich lists’ to make your mark. It’s just the way it is. Who’s going to know you if you’re not sitting pretty next to the creme-de-la-creme like Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Lebron James?
Well up until now the MMA community have had to petition for the fighters they love to start earning more, in the hopes that one day there would be a figurehead carrying the flag amongst the elite.
That was then, this is now.
It’s 2016, and there’s now an elite level MMA fighter mingling amongst the world’s richest, with 2015’s breakout UFC star in the Forbes top highest paid athletes list at #85. You read that correctly, and who else could it be but none other than “The Notorious” Conor McGregor. Following a series of extremely high profile fights, gaining mainstream media attention with his impressive, and predicted finishes (scrap UFC 196), McGregor has positioned himself well enough to dominate the cage, and the financial playing field, simultaneously.
“2015 was my year, 2016 is also my year…every year is my f**king year.” – Conor McGregor
It seems fitting now. Looking back at the UFC 196 pre-fight presser between the formidable Irishman and the lightweight champ – Rafael Dos Anjos – McGregor had already predicted his dominance, and we should have seen it coming. Yes, he lost to Diaz, and it was a crushing loss, evidently. Yet find us a fighter who has lost with as much dignity, championship spirit, and the resulting focus seen like never before from McGregor.
Get back to us.
We have to mention the domineering and captivating female fighter that is – Ronda Rousey – who raked in equally impressive, and very noteworthy £10 million. Yet her outside of the Octagon worries and Hollywood engagements have kept her sidelined for many months, causing her to fall slightly short of the Forbes richest list this year. However, it’s hard to imagine she won’t be the first female MMA fighter to creep into next year’s numbers, and deservedly so.
McGregor’s focus and determination have seamlessly transferred from his movements in the cage to his movements in the markets, working his charismatic persona through every money-making opportunity like a shark through the waves. 2015 was the year of the Irish MMA scene and the ripples have been felt well into 2016 with SBG Ireland dominating the scene. Scoring some impressive wins in the cage with C-Mac and Gunnar Nelson, as well as great news like former UFC fighter and SBG legend, Paddy Holohan’s SBG Tallaght gym opening this weekend. It’s a good year for Irish MMA and McGregor is undeniably at the centre of it all.
Featuring on Forbes top paid athletes list is major news for the Irishman. For a man who appreciates numbers, figures, money and anything that stacks, it’s a prestigious list to sit in. Especially considering this year’s top 100 only featured three elite level boxers.
You guessed it, Mayweather obviously sat at the top of the pile with an impressive £30.4 million. His closest rival was his former opponent and Philippine legend, Manny Pacquiao, with an impressive £16.6 million, and coming in a close third was the breakout boxing star of 2016, Canelo Alvarez. Earning a solid £14.8 million from his electrifying bouts, and savvy business endorsements.
However, the real news was the fact Conor McGregor, a man who was once collecting social benefits leading up to his first UFC bouts, had stormed into the list with a staggering, applause-worthy, and just down right balling, £15.2 million. A ridiculous amount to rake in from just four bouts. Yet the notable factor being McGregor collected around £3 million for his business endorsements, a very smart man you see. He may speak a big game, but his moving and shaking rivals any other, and he certainly proved it this year.
With his upcoming rematch with Stockton’s own Nate Diaz scheduled for August 20th – at UFC 202 – Mcgregor is surely set to continue his financial dominance. Whether he leaves the Octagon victorious at 202 or not, the Irishman will without a doubt come away the ultimate victor, leading the way in the only way he knows best. Dominating the numbers.
For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.
Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture
When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.
Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”
Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.
Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219
On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
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
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.
Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia.
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
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