With the way Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor has embraced Las Vegas and everything it stands for, it would be logical to assume the star featherweight champion plans on a long-term commitment to the fight capital of the world.
It appears that would be a premature assumption.
McGregor, who has fought three of his last four fights in the city, has rented multiple houses for long stretches of training camp and has a reserved suite at Red Rock Resort, said he is growing tired of the long flights from his native Dublin.
“(Expletive) Vegas. Serious. I want the East Coast next. If they don’t give me Ireland, give me the East Coast, I’ll go back to Boston. I know they’re lobbying for New York,” McGregor told Severe MMA before embarking on a flight to Las Vegas to complete training camp before his March 5 fight against lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos at MGM Grand. “We had a great time when we went to Boston and the East Coast is not as far, it’s a five-hour flight.”
McGregor says he wants to beat dos Anjos and then fight one more time in Las Vegas to headline UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena on July 9 and then he’s done with Sin City.
He said he’s even willing to fight at the 9,000-seat 3Arena in Dublin rather than continue with what he feels has become too lengthy a commute.
“I’ll go back to the (3Arena), no problem. I’ll go back there and fight, I don’t care if it’s 9,000, whatever, if I’ve outgrown that. I haven’t outgrown my home (expletive) town,” he said. “I’m still here. Vegas this one, Vegas next one, probably because I committed to it, UFC 200, I did commit to that. But then (expletive) East Coast or Dublin.”
McGregor has taken to renting massive homes in Las Vegas where he brings his gym mates and completes training camps, referring to the estates as the “Mac-Mansion.” Irish fans flooded the city to watch him knock out Jose Aldo for the belt in December, stopping traffic as they partied on The Strip in celebration.
He has also talked often about his love for the city, particularly the 24-hour lifestyle and the flashy nature of the town.
Apparently, his attitude has changed. Either that or McGregor is getting an early start on negotiations for future contract talks with the Las Vegas-based UFC, which prefers its biggest stars to fight in the city.
— Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj