How do you motivate a man who’s motivated by money, when he has all the money in the world? On the face of it, it seems a fools errand.
Convincing Conor McGregor to return to the octagon is an unenviable job. What could Dana White have that McGregor would possibly want? The MMA fighter has never been furtive with his intentions.
A tweet from 2014 from McGregor gave the best insight imaginable into his long-term career goals. No amount of expletive ridden soundbites could sum up his plan as eloquently: “Get in. Get rich. Get out.”
McGregor made a mark from the moment he stepped into the octagon; the fight game was his from that day. He ran it, he owned it. The star of the show, he was the face that ran the place.
Even the bitterest detractor, and they have to queue at this stage to take their digs, must concede that he conquered the UFC in a way the multimillion dollar company has never seen, and will likely never see again.
“I didn’t have money before this,” McGregor said after defeating Marcus Brimage on his UFC debut in Stockholm on 6 April, 2013.
“I was collecting €188-a-week off the social welfare, and now here I am with a 60 G’s bonus and then my own pay.”
McGregor went on to establish himself as the biggest pay-per-view draw in the history of MMA. His name was on the poster of four out of the six highest selling pay-per-view events in UFC history.
The Dubliner became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously. The whole time he spoke of his obsession with money, possessions, while alluding to the fact that fighting to him was a means to an end.
He has achieved that aim. McGregor has more money than he could spend in two lifetimes.
The 29-year-old has been trading digs on social media with Max Holloway. The American says he would be eager to fight McGregor, but doesn’t hold out much hope of it happening.
“If the Conor fight doesn’t happen, it’s not on my side, I’ll tell you guys like right now. It’s on their team. Their team talk about me all the time.
“That I’m the best guy in the world, this and that — but right now, really think about this. Conor is talking about Paulie Malignaggi… in MMA. Let that sink in.”
McGregor has everything. An incredible career and fighting record, a beautiful family, and a bank balance with more zeros than pi. He also more importantly has his health.
He came from obscurity to take the fighting world by storm, won UFC titles, made hundreds of millions of euro before finally becoming a mainstream megastar and arguably the most well known Irishman on the planet.
A man that smart is not foolish enough to get back in the octagon.