Conor McGregor Talks Drinking, Money and Fights vs. Mayweather, Pacquiao, Khabib

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2020

UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship ) fighter Conor McGregor smiles during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. McGregor announced that he will fight an undisclosed opponent with the event expected to happen in Las Vegas, USA, in January 2020.  (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

A calm Conor McGregor discussed his past and his future in a wide-ranging interview Monday on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show.

McGregor is set to fight Donald Cerrone on Saturday night in his first match since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018, which was his only UFC bout since 2016.

While some casual fans were surprised by his loss with the UFC Lightweight Championship on the line, McGregor explained he was drinking alcohol heavily prior to the fight:

ESPN MMA @espnmma

After “drinking all bleedin’ fight week” against Khabib, @TheNotoriousMMA hasn’t had a drink during his #UFC246 camp. https://t.co/MFpT6MAveo

It has now been "three-to-four months" since having a drink leading up to the bout against Cerrone, McGregor says.

"I've made mistakes and I'm man enough to admit them and correct them," he said.

McGregor also addressed concerns over his behavior both inside and outside the Octagon.

The Irish star attacked a bus full of fighters during UFC 223 weekend then was involved in a scuffle in the aftermath of his fight with Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

Away from the sport, he was arrested and charged with robbery and criminal mischief for smashing a fan's phone, but the charges were later dropped. He was also captured on video punching a person at a bar in Ireland last August. He later pled guilty to charges stemming from the attack.

Most notably, McGregor is the subject of two separate investigations by authorities in his native Ireland over allegations of sexual assault, per the New York Times.

When asked if he could deny the allegations, McGregor told Helwani, "Yes, f--king hell ... come on, seriously? Time, please, that's all. Time will reveal all, time will tell all. And then that's it."

ESPN MMA @espnmma

In his sit-down with @arielhelwani ahead of #UFC246, @TheNotoriousMMA preaches patience and denies the allegations made against him. https://t.co/ENLB10Z9MZ

McGregor has done well in his professional career even without a win since defeating Eddie Alvarez in 2016. His 2017 bout against Floyd Mayweather helped make him one of the richest athletes in the world with $99 million earned in 2018, per Forbes.

He plans to be a billionaire within the next four years, and the upcoming fight could play a big role in helping him.

ESPN MMA @espnmma

By the time he turns 35 years old, @TheNotoriousMMA expects to be a billionaire 🤑 (via @arielhelwani) https://t.co/vgUYrGrLmV

McGregor also plans to expand his boxing career after a hard-fought loss to Mayweather.

He discussed a potential rematch against Floyd as well as nearly signing up for a bout against Manny Pacquiao.

ESPN MMA @espnmma

Sounds like @FloydMayweather owes Conor McGregor an MMA fight 👀 @TheNotoriousMMA doesn't think it'll happen, but still wants a rematch in the ring (via @arielhelwani, @ESPNRingside) https://t.co/n2ZDAb1Dmo

 "I will box again, I will get a boxing world title," McGregor proclaimed.

ESPN MMA @espnmma

Aside from the Mayweather rematch, @TheNotoriousMMA would also be open to boxing @MannyPacquiao and @PaulMalignaggi 🥊 (via @arielhelwani, @ESPNRingside) https://t.co/iQcDeAYKoi

In the meantime, he will continue his UFC career and hope to re-establish himself as a top competitor in the sport.