In an interview with ESPN UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor opens up about the issues with he ZUFFA/UFC which resulted in him being removed from the UFC 200 card from facing Nate Diaz due to him wanting to focus on training for the upcoming fight.
I was in a time where I was like, figuring out something, I didn’t just shut out and say no to everything. I just wanted to do reasonable media, and then, hey, all of a sudden, ‘Conor, it’s three months from the fight, we’ve got to drag you onto 40-hour flights to come and do a runaround, New York, Vegas, California, 70 press conferences, 70 talk shows, adverts, all of this,’ and it’s like, I only made you $400 million last week. That was only last week, that fight. I need to get right.That’s how it all came about. I just wanted to focus and I was deep in the process, and especially at that particular moment, I just wanted a little bit more time. I didn’t shut it off completely. Reasonable media, is what I said. I said I would do New York. I said I would do everything else after that. I just needed another little bit to set myself, and then the lack of communication, they weren’t having it. They were trying to push back on me, I was trying to push back on them, and look, it blew up then.”
Conor McGregor on having regrets on not attending the press conference and staying in Iceland:
“I’ll tell you what, it blew up, I was just kind of having fun at the start. It was kind of half-hearted, and then it just went crazy, and now all of a sudden you’re off UFC 200, and I was like, ‘alright, well f*ck you too then. It was kinda of like a little, it was fun. Seeing it all blow up like that, it was amusing for a while. There were times when I was seeing the press conferences take place, and I was like, ah, I should’ve just jumped on the damn flight. I should’ve just stuck it out and went with it. But sometimes you’ve gotta do what’s right for you, and not do what’s right for everybody else and especially if you’ve done what’s right for everybody else a million times over, you should have the right to be able to do what’s right for you sometimes so that’s what I felt.”
Conor McGregor on fighting again:
“I’m committed to the fight game, I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges. So, if a challenge is in front of me, and it appeals to me, then I will go and I will conquer it. I’m open to challenges. I enjoy fighting, period.”
Conor McGregor was then asked about one of the other stories that has made mainstream news which is a boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather:
“I hear the boy talking. The leak came out, it was him that leaked the rumor and it said he gets $100 million and I get $7 million — that’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing was where the money was at. The $7 million is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100 million — I’m also talking $100 million, I’m 27 years of age and I’m just about halfway through a $100 million contract. At 27 years of age, Floyd Mayweather was on Oscar De La Hoya’s undercard.”He’s getting old now. I have the size, I have the reach, I have the height, I have the youth. He needs me. I don’t need him.
That’s the truth of it. Who else can he fight? He fights someone else in the boxing realm and it’s like all of a sudden the pay rate goes from $100 million to $15 million. So he needs me, I don’t really care about rules. He can make all the rules he wants,” McGregor said. “I know he will not want to fight in a mixed martial arts contest, in a true fight. If you want to fight in a limited fight, that’s no problem. We can do that. I will set aside many other forms of fighting that I practice in and I will focus on one particular craft. I’m in the game of spinning plates.
I’m spinning a boxing plate. I’m spinning a taekwondo plate. I’m spinning a jiu-jitsu plate. I’m spinning a freestyle wrestling plate. A karate plate. There’s so many spinning plates in this game. If I was to just put all them down and have one boxing plate spinning, it would be like a load off my shoulders.”