Conor McGregor may be the biggest name in the UFC, but first and foremost, he is a prize fighter. And the biggest part about being a prize fighter? You're always looking for bigger prizes. Speaking with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com on The MMA Hour, the trash-talking Irishman discussed how he is committed to having a record payday in the immediate future...and is currently looking for one of the biggest contracts in combat sports history.
"I'm waiting on my next multi, nine-figure contract, which is en route," he said (h/t MMAMania.com's Adam Guillen for the transcription). "I just let everyone up there know, I let the bosses know and everybody there know what I bring and my worth."
Surely, some fans were taken aback by that talk. "Nine figures? Surely he misspoke," they might say.
Well no, actually. He knows what he's saying. "Because the contract that I'm talking now is nine figures, nine figures I'm talking. Nobody in the game has talked nine figures. That's $100 million plus," he discussed later in the interview. "That's my contract, so, that's where I'm at, and I've done it the way I've done it."
There is little debate that McGregor is putting up some of the biggest numbers in MMA today. Before his main event tilt in Dublin in 2014, many thought that the UFC's featherweight division lacked any major revenue potential. Since then, McGregor has been able to put up some of the biggest numbers in UFC history, on free TV, on pay-per-view and at the box office.
Not only that, but fighters loosely associated with McGregor have been getting the rub from him in terms of booking. The next UFC event takes place in Dublin and sports a headlining bout between Joe Duffy (the last man to defeat McGregor, a fact the UFC loves to throw out during broadcasts) and Dustin Poirier, who faced McGregor at UFC 178 in 2014.
If you think he hasn't noticed that, well, think again. "Even fights that have linked to my name are main event status," he said. "There is no other fighter in the game that has that. When fighters lose to a fighter, they are not a draw. But, when they lose to me they are draws."
All that said, a nine-figure contract, especially when it comes to the UFC, feels unrealistic. Though McGregor is undeniably a colossal draw, even Ronda Rousey, who carries a card like none other today and is arguably the promotion's biggest draw, only makes what UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta describes as "millions of dollars"—not anywhere near nine or even eight figures.
Still, McGregor knows his worth, and his ability to instantly generate heat with both fellow fighters and fans makes him a valuable commodity for the UFC. It will be interesting to see how close he can come to realizing that dream.