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Conor McGregor says he would consider helping ‘spearhead’ a fighter union in the future

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor is just the kind of name that any effort to unionize fighters would need. And "The Notorious" is apparently interested. Just not now.

McGregor intimated Friday at a gym day here that he thinks a fighter association of union would be a good thing. News broke this week that a new group called the Professional Fighters Association (PFA), with the support of big-name labor organizations like the MLBPA and NLFPA, has formed with the goal to earn UFC fighters collective bargaining power.

"It is important to bunch together and support each other," McGregor said. "It's a dangerous, crazy business we are in. We get in and risk everything. I have witnessed firsthand how these fighters risk it all. Maybe in the future. Right now, I have got to focus on myself. That might be selfish, but this is the position I'm in right now. I have a lot going on. I've gotta focus on my own self right now. But in the future, maybe I will help spearhead something like that. If it is presented correctly. I wouldn't just jump in if it wasn't gonna be done right."

The PFA is just one organization looking to help fighters in their labor struggles. The New York-based law firm Lichten & Bright has sent mailers to hundreds of UFC fighters in an effort to form an association or union. The MMA Fighters Association has already been existence for years and has the backing of legends like Randy Couture. The newer groups would need to get the federal government to recognize UFC fighters as employees — not independent contractors — before any kind of unionization.

"Many fighters are not in a great situation," McGregor said. "I am blessed. I am blessed with the situation I am in. I have worked very hard for this. I have came in and I have put in the work to be in the situation I am in."

McGregor will meet Nate Diaz in a rematch in the main event of UFC 202 on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas. The first fight at UFC 196 was the highest grossing UFC pay-per-view of all time. McGregor owns multiple financial records in the UFC and has become one of the best pay-per-view draws in promotion history.

A long-held belief about a fighters association or union is that the top-level fighters, the ones who make the most money, would not be interested in it. McGregor seems to disprove that and he concedes that any kind of effort like that would need a competitor of his stature and leverage.

"Yes," McGregor said. "Of course."