LOS ANGELES — Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid boxer of all time, banking hundreds of millions in fight purses. Conor McGregor is behind Mayweather in numbers of zeroes, but is doing well in his own right in MMA, saying he has made more than $10 million for his last two UFC fights.
There's no doubt those two men are making bank. Just how much, though, Alistair Overeem isn't sure. The UFC heavyweight thinks both Mayweather and McGregor are fudging the numbers — he doesn't believe they're making as much as they say they are.
"My answer to that, to Mayweather and to Conor, let me see some bank statements," Overeem said Monday at a media lunch in Downtown LA. "You can talk, you can say it, you can put it out there in tweets, but let me see a bank statement that says UFC wired X amount of money, because it's always going to be this way. People lie. It's the 21st century. Social media is fake."
Overeem, 36, will be competing for some gold next week in a UFC heavyweight title bout against champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 in Cleveland. It'll be the second fight on his new contract with the UFC, which he signed in February.
"The Reem" has been in the game a long time, from PRIDE to K-1 to Strikeforce to the UFC. He knows a little bit about fight purses. And he does not think someone like McGregor is being completely truthful.
McGregor did, however, officially make a UFC record $3 million in disclosed money against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 last week. Before that, McGregor was the first million-dollar purse in UFC history against Diaz at UFC 196 in March. It is believed that McGregor made much more in pay-per-view revenue and other bonuses for both contests.
Mayweather made $100 million disclosed for his megafight with Manny Pacquiao. Reports have stated that he might have made somewhere north of $200 million for that fight when ticket sales and PPV revenue is factored in.
Overeem (41-14, 1 NC) lives a comfortable life by all accounts. But he said you'll never see him flaunting his money around. It's just not something he believes in.
"I'm from Holland," Overeem said. "In Holland, we like to dress up, we like to do our thing, we like to be cool. But we what we don't like is to have stacks of cash on the table and the cars. To us, in our culture — and in that respect I'm very proud to be Dutch — that's just attracting problems, attracting difficulty."
He also doesn't plan on taking the McGregor approach to fight promotion. Overeem has always been someone who speaks his mind and that will continue. There will just never be any over-the-top trash talk.
"I am my own guy and I've always kind of followed my own path. I do what I think is right. That brings me happiness. If I'm going to do something because somebody else is doing it, I see that as fake. Again, you look at these other guys and they're making the stacks of cash. Who was the first doing that? Muhammad Ali was doing that. So you're copycatting another guy. I'm just being me. I feel very comfortable being me. I don't feel obliged to be somebody else at all. I'm very proud of being me."
Especially when he thinks the guys talking so much about cash aren't really making as much as they say they are.
"People lie all the time," Overeem said. "Personally, I have a hard time believing both of them about their income."