Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is known to be the pioneer for “money fight” demands. But for the first time in his career, he is willing to take a pay cut just to make a potential matchup become a reality, a close source to him says.
This unidentified individual spoke to the Irish Sun (via the Irish Mirror), stating that “The Notorious” is willing to let a huge payday pass, just to make a fight with current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov happen.
“Conor is trying to do everything he possibly can to get back into the cage and wants Khabib no matter what it takes,” the unidentified source said. “He has never wanted a fight so much. He doesn’t care about the money for once, he just wants to get this guy one on one as he feels this whole situation was caused by him and he wants to make him pay.”
“He would take this fight on for peanuts, he wants to make it happen.”
Since McGregor held the 155-pound title, Khabib has been trying to make a fight happen between them, either in Moscow, Russia or in Dublin, Ireland. Many deem this fight to be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) matchups in UFC history if it does end up taking place.
The rift between the two further deepened during McGregor’s bus rampage at UFC 223’s media day two weeks ago. It was believed to have been rooted in the altercation between Khabib and McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov, which happened at a hotel lobby days prior the bus attack.
From Khabib’s end, he is still willing to throw down with McGregor, no matter which part of the world they end up meeting. In fact, he wants a “world tour” to promote their fight, since he recognizes the magnitude of such a matchup.
“I hope he’s gonna fight. We have to fight,” Khabib said during the UFC 223 post-fight press conference. “Make world tour everywhere, Tokyo, Moscow, Dublin, Los Angeles, Rio. Big world tour, promote this fight, and fight end of the year, biggest arena in the world, Madison Square Garden. Why not? Or maybe in Zaire or Philippines.”
“It’s going to be very big fight. It’s going to be very big fight, I think. Let’s go. I am ready for this. November, September in Moscow, November in New York. Any time. Let’s go. Let’s fight in Africa or somewhere. I am here.”
McGregor has not fought in the UFC since November 2016, when he won the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez via third-round knockout. Instead of defending his title, he opted to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match last August, where he lost via tenth round TKO.