The question that a lot of people are asking now is “With the Mayweather-McGregor fight being over, what is in store next for Conor McGregor?”
Dana White, the President of UFC, has claimed that McGregor will come back and defend his lightweight championship title by the end of the year. There is, however, immense likelihood of a boxing match against Paulie Malignaggi or the profitable trilogy fight featuring Nate Diaz. At the same time, there is also immense likelihood of McGregor never donning the gloves again. Prior to the Mayweather-McGregor fight, speculations were rife that he may never return to the world of MMA. Moreover, the pay-per-view numbers are at an all-time high, and this could force him to retire after one last fight and a huge paycheck.
If McGregor does fight in that one last big boxing match, betting lines for the fight are sure to go ballistic, just as it did for the Mayweather-McGregor fight. On the other hand, if he chooses to have another stint at UFC, things are still not going to be easy for White, claimed Brendan Schaub, the former UFC heavyweight champion. He stated that after the Mayweather fight, McGregor has become a huge star, and is not likely to return to the stage with his previous contract.
Schaub feels that McGregor has taken the sport forward and has won a huge paycheck in his last fight with Mayweather. Under these circumstances, he would not be willing to return to the UFC and the world of MMA for the kind of money that he used to receive earlier. He has become one of the biggest names in combat sports, and is within his rights to demand increased numbers.
Although the numbers from the Mayweather-McGregor fight have not been finalized yet, it is estimated that McGregor has earned at least $30 million from the fight. If this is added to his share of the pay-per-view revenue, his total earnings are likely to be more than $100 million.
McGregor could next be seen in a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, which could sell pay-per-view buys anywhere north of 2 million. This could go even higher with the popularity of his fight with Mayweather. So, if all these factors are considered, a return to the UFC will only help him make approximately 10 percent of what he could possibly make with his next possible venture. Hence, regardless of his current contract with the UFC, there is very little possibility of McGregor taking to the UFC stage again, feels Schaub.
Schaub also feels that the dynamics of UFC are changing with McGregor, and he cannot be expected to fight again according to the old terms. The duration of the previous contract does not really matter anymore in the case of McGregor. Schaub also feels that there are plenty of other highly-rewarding options for McGregor should the UFC refuse to increase his pay. Should his contract with UFC not be increased, McGregor could organize and promote a boxing match with Paulie Malignaggi, as he did with Mayweather. That match, in all probability, will make more money for him than any other fights that he has in the UFC.
McGregor has always said that he wanted to sell out Croke Park. That is a possible direction in which he can head to next.