In tandem with the first UFC 229 presser, news has come out of a new deal between Conor McGregor and the UFC. As part of the Khabib versus McGregor media circus, Dana White spoke to ESPN and revealed that McGregor has inked a new multi-fight deal.
The new contract is for six bouts, including the October 6th lightweight title clash. The UFC will also promote McGregor’s newly launched Proper Twelve Whiskey.
Many have argued that win, lose or draw, McGregor will likely retire after facing Khabib Nurmagomedov. This new contract casts doubt on that assumption.
McGregor would not sign a multi-fight deal if he did not have plans beyond UFC 229. Having said that, a fighter is not contractually obligated to fulfill the fights on their contract if they retire. The former two weight champion is only obligated to complete the contract if he intends to stay active.
White refused to comment on the sum of the new contract but he did note that it makes McGregor the highest paid MMA fighter in history. McGregor no doubt used the trending PPV figures of his next fight and the estimated 85 million dollar pay day of his last as bargaining chips.
For some time there has been a large discrepancy between earnings of top MMA fighters compared to the biggest names of other sports.
Diaz vs McGregor 2 in 2016 was referred to as the most lucrative fight in MMA history. 15 million is nothing to sniff at but Odell Beckham recently made 41 million just for re-signing with The Giants. Forbes estimated that Floyd Mayweather made 275 million for his boxing match with McGregor.
This new business transaction is potentially great for the sport. McGregor going into business as a sponsor; promoter and athlete brings more money to the sport. Hopefully it will set a precedent for MMA fighters receiving the pay they deserve.