LAS VEGAS -- Dana White wasn't kidding about Conor McGregor's little side bet for UFC 189. Speaking on the Jim Rome Show on Tuesday, White revealed that McGregor proposed a $3 million side wager for he and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta hinging on McGregor being able to knock out Chad Mendes in the second round of Saturday's main event.
According to McGregor, that bet is very real indeed. But it's not for $3 million.
It's for $3.5 million.
"I'm still hoping it goes ahead," McGregor said Wednesday. "I feel it's a good bet. It could go either way, so I believe he should take it. It's to do with this pay-per-view stipulation, so it's not as black and white as it seems, but I hope he takes it."
McGregor was initially slated to challenge UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo before a last-second rib injury to Aldo derailed the fight that had been building for the better part of 2015, causing Mendes to step in as a replacement. With an interim UFC title now on the line, the McGregor show hasn't missed a beat, and the change in opponents has done little to slow McGregor's unwavering belief in his own abilities.
"We were discussing negotiations," McGregor said of his conversation with White. "And one of them negotiations was a little friendly wager. I sent him an e-mail breaking it all down.
"I just heard that he spoke about it on the radio, so everyone else knows, because I didn't tell anybody. It was behind closed doors. I don't discuss business. He does, so I hope that means he is taking it."
For the most part, McGregor's outlandish UFC promises have come true. From knocking out Marcus Brimage with a devastating first-round knockout in his 2013 debut, all the way to Aldo withdrawing from the fight being billed as the biggest in featherweight history, McGregor's proclivity for prediction has been one of the most curious quirks of the Irishman.
Along the way, McGregor has listened to endless grumblings about being protected by UFC matchmakers against the swarm of American wrestlers that populate the featherweight division. So instead of complaining about his lost payday against Aldo, McGregor is turning UFC 189 into an opportunity to shut down the last of his critics' critiques. And in true McGregor fashion, he isn't doing anything halfway.
At a chiseled 5-foot-6 with All-American credentials, Mendes is perhaps the strongest wrestler at 145 pounds. But once the cage door closes, it'll make little difference to the world's most confident Irishman.
"I'll kick him upside his head quicker than he can blink," McGregor vowed.
"There are many shots I visualize cracking him. The uppercut, even the straight, the stiff jab, the teeps, the spinning roundhouse to the head, the spinning roundhouse to the body, the lead hook kick, the rear hook kick, the knee. Man, I have so many shots that can mess this guy up. He's coming in here, that height. When you're pulling the trigger fully, and the target is [shorter], it takes about half a millisecond to get from the ground to the head. So he is in a lot of trouble, and he will know it straight off the bat."