Conor McGregor has dramatically changed the face of the mixed martial arts (MMA) world.
The Irish knockout artist has risen to become the biggest star the sport has ever seen, so much so that he was able to cross over into the world of boxing and compete in an exhibition match against, arguably, the greatest boxer of all time in Floyd Mayweather. Despite a decent showing in the early rounds of the fight, McGregor fatigued late in the fight and was unable to answer a barrage of shots from Mayweather, leading to a 10th round TKO win for "Money." When it was all said and done McGregor walked away with, undoubtably, the biggest payday of his combat sports career.
During a recent episode of UFC commentator Joe Rogan's podcast, alongside former UFC heavyweight competitor and friend Brendan Schaub, McGregor's immense amount of success was discussed.
Schaub claimed that McGregor is now far too big a star to return to the UFC on his current contract, and that he has completely changed the game for his fellow mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Conor has changed the game for the better, especially if you’re the fighter,” said Schaub. “With WME, he’s steering the ship. Think about it, he made over - the numbers have come out and they’re saying it’s gonna be the biggest pay-per-view of all time - so he made $100 million, right?
"So you’re telling me if you’re Conor and you’re part of his team you’re gonna go, ‘Hey, fight Nate Diaz for $5-10 million and also, we need you to wear this Reebok and they’re gonna pay you $100,000 a year.’ You think Conor’s gonna [do that]? You’re crazy.
“You’re playing a different game now. You’re talking about the biggest athlete in combat sports. You’re not getting him for the $200,000 you were paying him a year. He can go, ‘Listen, I’m down to wear Reebok but it’s a different animal now.’
“Conor’s changing the dynamics for everyone because now, when you want him to fight again, you can’t have him agree to those old terms. He’s a smart guy and he learned anything from Floyd, you know when you fight Floyd you’re fighting a different animal. . .
“That contract doesn’t matter if it’s out or not. The game has changed. There’s no way you keep going with that current contract.
“If I’m Conor and I have McGregor promotions . . . I’m just gonna go to Dublin and me and Paulie are gonna sell this 70,000 stadium out and I’m just gonna take all of it.”
What are your thoughts on Schaub's comments regarding McGregor changing the game for all MMA fighters? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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