Conor McGregor has reportedly received a lucrative offer to fight Rasul Mirzaev in the undercard of Fedor Emelianenko's heavyweight bout with Fabio Maldonado at Fight Nights Global on June 17.
Bloody Elbow's Karim Zidan relayed the news from Russian MMA journalist Alexey Safonov on Wednesday:
The Irishman's fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 200 in July has been pulled after he failed to fulfil his contractual obligations to travel to Las Vegas to promote the event. Despite McGregor tweeting on Sunday the fight was back on, UFC President Dana White told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times that nothing had changed regarding his involvement.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed the headline event at UFC 200 will now be Daniel Cormier's second clash with Jon Jones, with MMA reporter Mike Bohn impressed with the explosive undercard also:
According to Zidan, Fight Nights could afford to pay McGregor the aforementioned major sum, but with Notorious still contracted to the UFC, the move is little more than a PR stunt:
Per TMZ Sports (h/t FS1), White expects McGregor to fight for the UFC again sometime soon after UFC 200:
As MMA Junkie's Chamatkar Sandhu noted, Notorious is now of such a high profile he can still dominate the attention of media and fans alike:
As the sport's star attraction, the UFC can ill afford a long-running absence from McGregor, and as White indicated, it seems it will be looking to get him back in action as quickly as possible after 200.
Whether the offer to fight Mirzaev is a PR move or not, it demonstrates the hype and purse the 27-year-old can now command.
Further, it gives him lucrative alternatives should he ever turn his back on the UFC entirely—something that isn't beyond the realms of possibility if his dispute with the organisation over his promotional duties and lack of involvement at UFC 200 continues into the long term.