Conor McGregor’s future in the UFC remains a question mark, despite currently being the organization’s lightweight champion. He said he was taking some time off while his girlfriend awaits the birth of their first child, but a return to the octagon isn’t certain. There’s a rumored appearance at WrestleMania 33 in April, plus that thought of a boxing superfight with Floyd Mayweather that just never seems to go away, no matter how much UFC president Dana White might want it to.
In an exclusive interview with Ariel Helwani (that was broadcast behind a paywall on McGregor’s own website), McGregor said that he’s willing to put together the Mayweather fight with or without the UFC, citing the Ali Act as his legal precedent. The Ali Act (full name: The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act) was made into law in 2000 in an effort to prevent boxing promoters from taking advantage of fighters by limiting where and when they can work. The Act may soon extend to cover MMA fighters, although that hasn’t been finalized yet.
“I believe so, with the Ali act I believe I can [fight outside UFC],” McGregor said. “But I think it’s smoother with all involved. I think we’re all about good business. I’ve done great business with the UFC, with Dana and everyone. But again, everyone’s gotta know their place. So we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Interestingly enough, right before the interview McGregor made an Instagram post with the caption: “F*ck the UFC. F*ck Floyd. F*ck boxing. F*ck Hollywood. And f*ck you too pay me.”
At a UFC event on Saturday night, someone asked White about McGregor’s most recent outburst and the fact that he is now threatening to fight Floyd Mayweather regardless of his UFC contract.
“You know how I feel with Conor,” White said. “I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell ya, it’ll be an epic fall.”
The power struggle between McGregor and the UFC seems far from over. However, White did give a very clear answer when asked about the chances of a McGregor/Mayweather fight at any point in the future.
“Here’s what I think the chances are. About the same as me being the backup quarterback for Brady on Sunday,” White said.