Conor McGregor Could Address US Congress over MMA Fighters' Rights

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 25:  Conor McGregor speaks to the media during a news conference after Mayweather's 10th-round TKO victory in their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

After making his boxing debut, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor may appear before United States Congress in an effort to expand the protection of rights afforded to mixed martial arts fighters.

According to Philip O'Connor of Reuters, Congressman Markwayne Mullin is spearheading the effort and said McGregor's team told him the fighter would speak on the subject on Capitol Hill.

Mullin, a former professional MMA fighter himself, is pushing for the expansion of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to cover MMA fighters as well.

Per O'Connor, the Ali Act protects fighters from coercive contracts, establishes an independent ranking system and bans promoters from having a "direct or indirect financial interest" in their dealings with fighters.

The UFC has been resistant to Mullin's attempts, and UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein is especially opposed to the idea of an independent ranking system: "We have been successful for one reason and one reason only—we put on the fights the fans want to see. That's where we have a problem with what Congressman Mullin wants to do."

McGregor lost by technical knockout in the 10th round to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in his first professional boxing match on Aug. 26.

Per Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com, McGregor made $30 million for stepping into the ring against Mayweather, which was 10 times his highest purse for a single UFC bout.