August 27, 2017 - 5:01 pm
Updated August 27, 2017 - 10:39 pm
Conor McGregor just completed a journey from aspiring fighter on social welfare in Ireland to starring as half of the biggest fight in combat sports history in less than four years.
He’s not quite ready to start planning an encore.
“I can’t tell you exactly what’s next,” he said after being knocked out in his boxing debut by Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. “But know it will be something big.”
McGregor did not rule out a return to the boxing ring. While the UFC star was disappointed to fall short of handing Mayweather his first loss, and even more upset to have had the fight stopped by the referee, the mixed martial artist felt he gave a good accounting of himself.
He also has many options in the cage and insists he will be back to the UFC regardless of whether he pursues any opportunities in the boxing world.
McGregor’s only firm plans are more immediate.
A childhood friend of his is getting married in Ibiza next weekend, and McGregor plans to rent a hundred-foot yacht for a big party.
Then, the real fun begins.
McGregor is looking forward to counting up the final tally of all the revenue streams that will be coming his way as a result of his megafight with Mayweather.
“Now we go into the counting phase,” McGregor said. “We count up the gate, we count up the pay-per-view, the merchandise and the sponsorship revenue. I will send auditors in there like (expletive) sharks to count up every single dollar.”
McGregor indicated he believes he will make more than $100 million for the bout.
The cash is only part of the reason the 29-year-old is proud of what he was able to accomplish — first by defying the odds in getting a deal done to make the fight, then outperforming expectations once the bell rang.
Several sports books posted odds on punches landed by McGregor in the 30s.
ESPN boxing analyst Max Kellerman claimed McGregor wouldn’t be able to land a punch.
“I’ve been trying to get ahold of (Kellerman),” UFC president Dana White said after McGregor landed 111 punches on Mayweather, mostly in the early rounds. “He ain’t answering his phone right now.”
McGregor has always been fueled by critics, and this journey was no different.
“This was some buzz to come in and face this man,” McGregor said. “So many doubters and so many people saying it would never even happen. I always thought we could make it happen, and we did. Then they said I was not going to lay a glove on him. So many things to overcome. I just enjoyed the whole experience, and I’m just relishing it for now.
“You can say what you want. I put in so much work for this. I worked my (expletive) ass off. Like, I really properly worked my ass, and that’s what it’s all about. We compete, we get better, and we come back.”
Exactly where that return takes place is the big question. McGregor did indicate he eventually would like a third fight against UFC lightweight Nate Diaz, but that’s just one of several options.
McGregor insists he will stay active even after quadrupling his net worth in one night, according to some accounts.
“Fighting is what I do and what I enjoy,” he said. “I get itchy if I don’t have a fight.”
He knows he now has a whole lot of options for how to scratch it.
Contact Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.