First and foremost, Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), the UFC Lightweight champion and former Featherweight champion, wants to sit down with new UFC owners Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, who headed the $4 billion purchase of the fight promotion by WME-IMG earlier this year.
According to “The Notorious,” he still hasn’t spoken with the new UFC bosses since the purchase of the company was finalized in August, and that includes when he was stripped of the Featherweight title this past month.
“I want to see what their plan is because right now I don’t know nobody’s plan,” McGregor said in an interview accepting the RTA “Sportsperson of the Year” award for 2016. “All I know is they’re trying to type onto a keyboard and say, ‘We’re taking this belt and that belt, and we’re doing this and that.’ You ain’t doing nothing without contacting me first. I’m ready for anything.”
Conor McGregor talks to Clare McNamara after a year which he call the ‘culmination of his life’s work’. https://t.co/0AY8QPqGyu
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) December 17, 2016
McGregor became the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the second round at UFC 205 in November to add the 155-pound belt to his collection, which already included 145-pound gold. His two-division reign didn’t last long, however, because the organization opted to take away the Featherweight strap and move forward with the division.
Jose Aldo, who was knocked out in 13 seconds by McGregor at UFC 194 in December, was promoted to champion, while an interim title fight between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis was set for the main event of UFC 206 earlier this month. Holloway, who lost a decision to McGregor in August 2013, won the belt, meaning two fighters with losses to the brash Irishman rule the division.
McGregor said he never agreed to giving up the Featherweight belt, and in his mind he is still king of not one, but two divisions.
“Don’t mind that; I’m still the two-weight world champ,” McGregor said. “They can try to say what they want. They can try to put out the people that I’ve already destroyed. The current champion (Aldo) is a guy I KO’d in 13 seconds. The current interim champ (Holloway) is a guy I destroyed as well. Officially I don’t care what nobody says. I am the two-weight world champion, and that’s that.”
Following his victory at UFC 205, McGregor said he would be taking some time off from the sport to support his girlfriend in the final months of her pregnancy. The couple is expecting their first child in May, and it’s unlikely that McGregor will see competition anytime before then.
UFC President Dana White recently went on record stating McGregor could be out of action for up to 10 months, but that came as news to the fighter himself. McGregor said he would be ready to fight before then, but following his post-UFC 205 demand for a stake in UFC ownership, still hasn’t had a realistic discussion with UFC decision-makers about what could be next.
Until that happens, White’s assessment of a 10-month break could be on point, or perhaps McGregor will explore his options outside of MMA.
“I know Dana (White’s) been on record like, ’10 months – he’s taking 10 months,'” McGregor said. “I just don’t know. I’m weighing out my options. I expect conversation. I expect them to fly that jet to me. Ari (Emanuel), Patrick (Whitesell) – the new owners from WME-IMG – the guys who bought the UFC for $4 billion? I want to speak with them.
“I can go out and maybe conquer the boxing scene as well,” he continued. “That’s a very serious thought. That’s a very serious conversation that’s happening, so we’ll see. I’ve got those wrestling guys trying to contact me, as well. I’ve got Hollywood trying to contact me, as well. I’ve got all the options. … I’m ready for anything. I did say I was going to take a break but a Christmas break, the holidays. At least give me the holidays off. We’ll see what happens in the future.”