Even in defeat Conor McGregor’s Hollywood-esque career rolls on
MMA’s Conor McGregor may have come up short in his bid to tarnish Floyd Mayweather’s undefeated boxing record, but you’d never know it.
In fact, grinning ear-to-ear and custom-tailored head to toe in his own men’s fashion label August McGregor, one would think the fallen Irishman had just won the ‘fight of the century’ when in fact, he did not.
“Oh that whiskey tastes so good,” McGregor bellowed before answering a journalist’s question during the midnight presser held in the same ring used in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Notorious Irish Whiskey coming soon! I’m gonna take over the Irish Whiskey Market.”
Conor McGregor speaks to the media while holding up his Notorious' brand of whiskey after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by 10th round TKO in their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.Getty Images
According to the reigning UFC lightweight champion, fatigue, not Mayweather’s punishing assault, was the deciding factor.
“Three game changes in the fight, I didn't anticipate that,” explained McGregor. "That’s what a true champion does, much respect to him.
“I think fatigue is like a patch,” he continued. “There’s a patch somewhere in the middle of fights, even with the [Nate] Diaz II fight, I have this patch that I must overcome. I get a little wobbly, but it’s more fatigue.
“If you look at the Diaz II fight, I came through that and came back in round 4, round 5. I would have liked to have seen the end of round 10 and see where it brought us. But he was a hell of a competitor.
“It was a good fight. It was a bit of fun, right?”
One look at the punch totals, and it is no wonder the 29-year-old showed signs of fatigue and threw heavy arms from the fifth round onward. In total, McGregor landed a higher percentage against Mayweather (25.8%) than Canelo Alvarez did (22.2%) and Oscar De La Hoya (20.8%).
“I was just tired in there, I feel,” said McGregor. “He caught me with some nice shots, but I wasn’t fazed or rattled or anything. I was just b*ll*cksed.”
As for what’s next, McGregor said there are many options awaiting him, but first a weekend in Spain is in the cards.
“We’ll see what happens, but now I’m gonna hit Ibiza,” he said. “A childhood friend of mine is getting married and I'm going to charter a 100ft yacht, maybe for a day, and then I’ll see what’s next.
“I have multiple titles in the UFC to think about and I can also continue in the boxing game,” McGregor continued. “What’s next for me is to continue to study and learn. I’m a student of mixed martial arts, and I've studied everyone in the game, including Floyd, and it was an honour to share the ring with him.
“I feel it was close, 5-4 into Round 10 and I would have liked to have gotten to the bell to see what was what.”
The two-time UFC world champion said he will resume his jiu-jitsu and freestyle training, and re-engage his kicking again, as well as prepare for fighters who approach forehead first and hands up as did Mayweather.
“I have so many options in mixed martial arts, I’m sure there are options that will present themselves in boxing game,” said McGregor. “Right now I’m a free agent and my name is on the ring. It says ‘McGregor Sports and Entertainment’ on a boxing ring and I’m very proud of that.”
Thanks in part to a confidentiality agreement signed by both parties, an exact split of the prize purse may not be revealed. However, reports suggest the difference could be as much as 70-30 in favour of the undefeated boxing champion, who eclipsed heavyweight Rocky Marciano’s mark of 49-0 that has stood since 1955.
The amounts also depend on several variables, including gate, pay-per-view sales, merchandise and commercial sponsorships.
However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed on Friday that the minimum each fighter will earn is $100million (£77.6million) for Mayweather and $30million (£23.3million) for McGregor.
But if PPV revenue stays in line with the 2015 Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, the fight purse is likely to be worth more than $300million (£232.8million), with total revenues at $700million (£543.5million).
“I will send auditors in here like f**king sharks to count every single dot,” said McGregor. “If we are talking in the five million PPV range, or 4.6 or whatever the Pacquiao fight did, I’m clearing a $100million.
“It’s about counting that because there’s a lot of sharks in the game.”
With the money rolling in from the superfight of the century, along with his fashion, whiskey label, nightclub and endorsement deals, McGregor says he is not hurting financially.
But does a life of riches mean a future away from the sport? Not a chance, says McGregor.
“I’ll see what’s next, but I’m open,” he repeated. “I love to compete and I love a good fight, and tonight was a damn good fight. I showed my heart and enjoyed myself, long may it continue.
“I have many contenders in the mixed martial arts game,” McGregor concluded. “I have a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz. I have options, I’ll see what’s next. I wasn't damaged, just fatigued, so we will see what offers are on the table.”