Conor McGregor created UFC history on Saturday night and is now eyeing greater financial reward for his endeavours writes Sport360's Alex Rea.
In a world full of unpredictable outcomes, Conor McGregor has found a way to correctly predict his entire career. From the beginning, his prophecy was to become the first simultaneous two-weight UFC world champion. And he willed that dream into a reality.
The promotion has never had a star like him, and right now, his shine is incandescent, impossible to ignore whether you love him or loathe him.
The Irishman’s unprecedented success has brought about green, gold and red-hot anger from critics, but no one can deny it, his legacy is secure. And he did it with consummate ease, stopping lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez with a second-round four-punch combination, graceful in its accuracy and deadly in its power.
“They’re not on my level,” McGregor said post-fight. “You gotta have some attributes. If you’re not an equal to me, I’m gonna rip your head off. Eddie’s a warrior, but he shouldn’t have been in here with me.”
Undeniably, this was his best performance, a Coup de gras to those who have labelled him a myth ever since he began this meteoric rise some four years ago. The 28-year-old was a level above Alvarez in practically every department with arguably the highest stakes in play.
Alvarez has been stopped before, but not for five years via strikes, and not in the stunning style he was dismantled by McGregor. He capitalised on his five-inch reach advantage to drop the champion three times in the opening three minutes. It was obvious the fight was heading in one direction and it ended with Alvarez’s decimation.
As is the case with a man who has knack for predicting his future, talk turned to what the next step is. But McGregor can chart his own course, picking up the exponential treasures being the best there is attracts.
He can move down and fight Jose Aldo at 145lbs, or he can choose to stay put and defend the lightweight belt against one of Tony Ferguson or Khabib Nurmagomedov. There’s even the possibility of moving up to take on welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
McGregor confirmed that he will be a father next year and it seems that role is providing motivation to think about more than just fights.
“They’ve got to come talk to me now because no one’s came and talked to me since the sale has happened as a businessman,” McGregor said in reference to new owners WME-IMG.
“I’ve been approached as, ‘Hello’ and that type of stuff, but I’ve earned something. Who owns the company now?
“People have shares. Celebrities. Conan O’Brien owns the UFC now. Where’s my share? Where’s my equity? If I’m the one that’s bringing this, they’ve got to come talk to me. I’ve got both belts, family on the way. If you want me to stick around, if you want me to keep doing (this), let’s talk. But I want the ownership now. I want the equal share. I want what I deserve, what I’ve earned.”
The divisive Irishman would not be drawn on when he would make his Octagon return, and if the above is to be taken seriously whether he will at all, but despite five fights in 16 months, he feels better than ever.
“Twenty-eight is young, so we’ll see,” he said. “Fresh, I am. Not a bother on me. I could go again. I honestly could go again no problem. I’m just going to go chill for a bit, enjoy these two belts and that’s it. I could keep going, but I’m aware of my worth. I’ve got a family on the way and I’m coming for mine now.”
Alarm bells should be ringing in Dana White’s ears, because a proclamation like that from McGregor normally comes to fruition.