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Morning Report: Brendan Schaub: Conor McGregor is ‘steering the ship’ for the UFC

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Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards - Arrivals Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Now that Mayweather vs. McGregor is finally over, the question on everyone’s mind is what will Conor McGregor do next?

UFC President Dana White insists McGregor will be back to defend his lightweight championship before the end of the year but there is also the possibility of a boxing match with Paulie Malignaggi or the lucrative trilogy fight with Nate Diaz. Then of course, there’s also the possibility that McGregor never laces up the gloves again. Before the fight, there was speculation that McGregor might never return to MMA and with the pay-per-view numbers currently trending towards the highest of all time, it’s entirely possible McGregor could choose to retire on the back of this huge payday.

But if McGregor does choose to return to the UFC, things still won’t be all sunshine and rainbows for White, at least not according to former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub. On the most recent edition of The Joe Rogan Experience Fight Companion podcast, Schaub suggested that post-Mayweather fight, McGregor is far too big a star to return to the UFC on the same contract he was before being one half of the biggest fight of all time.

“Conor has changed the game for the better, especially if you’re the fighter,” said Schaub. “With WME, he’s steering the ship. Think about it, he made over - the numbers have come out and they’re saying it’s gonna be the biggest pay-per-view of all time - so he made $100 million, right? So you’re telling me if you’re Conor and you’re part of his team you’re gonna go, ‘Hey, fight Nate Diaz for $5-10 million and also, we need you to wear this Reebok and they’re gonna pay you $100,000 a year.’ You think Conor’s gonna [do that]? You’re crazy.

“You’re playing a different game now. You’re talking about the biggest athlete in combat sports. You’re not getting him for the $200,000 you were paying him a year. He can go, ‘Listen, I’m down to wear Reebok but it’s a different animal now.’”

Though numbers haven’t been finalized, signs are pointing towards a buyrate of over 4 million. McGregor earned a guaranteed $30 million for the fight with a percentage of the PPV also coming his way that will likely put his earnings at comfortably over $100 million. For reference, McGregor made a guaranteed $3 million for his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz. That event is the highest selling PPV in UFC history with an estimated 1.6 million buys.

A trilogy fight with Diaz is currently the frontrunner for McGregor’s next fight and that could sell north of 2 million buys with the bump McGregor gets from his bout with Mayweather. But with that in mind, is it likely McGregor opts to return to the UFC if he’s only guaranteed 1/10th of his last guarantee? Not likely, says Schaub, regardless of what his contract says.

“Conor’s changing the dynamics for everyone because now, when you want him to fight again, you can’t have him agree to those old terms. He’s a smart guy and he learned anything from Floyd, you know when you fight Floyd you’re fighting a different animal. . .

“That contract doesn’t matter if it’s out or not. The game has changed. There’s no way you keep going with that current contract.”

And if the UFC is unwilling to substantially up McGregor’s pay, there are other lucrative options for the UFC lightweight champion. Schaub notes that if McGregor chose to stick to boxing where the Ali Act could potentially get him out of his contract with the UFC, a boxing match with Paulie Malignaggi with McGregor operating as the promoter, a la Mayweather, would likely bring him more money than any fight under the UFC banner.

“If I’m Conor and I have McGregor promotions . . . I’m just gonna go to Dublin and me and Paulie are gonna sell this 70,000 stadium out and I’m just gonna take all of it.”

McGregor has always talked about selling out Croke Park, maybe that’s next up for him.


Results. Alexander Volkov knocked out Stefan Struve and the rest of the results from UFC Fight Night: Rotterdam.

$$$. Mayweather-McGregor is trending close to the PPV buyrate record.

Fight. Holly Holm is “open” to fighting Cris Cyborg but hasn’t been offered yet.

Anyone. Jose Aldo is willing to face anyone for “dream” fight at Madison Square Garden.

Pride. Daniel Cormier “felt a sense of pride” watching Conor McGregor box.


LFA 21 highlights.


Here’s Sean Shelby saying RDA would’ve fought Woodley if Maia had passed. Seems like RDA might get a WW title shot with a win over Magny.

Chuck saying it’s easier for MMA fighters to cross over into boxing than vice versa.

Carl Frampton backing Conor in a Paulie fight.

A small retrospective on boxers who fought MMA, since that’s all the rage these days.


6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC Fight Night: Rotterdam.


4 billion dollar company doing this.

Called shot.

Hard to deny him at this point.

This happened.


Great work. Hope the UFC contributes even more.

Anyone knows what this means?


We should support this.


And it keeps going #mma #ufc #boxing #mcgregor

A post shared by mmaworld (@mmaworld) on

Frye-Takayama redux.


Probably true.

No belief this is true but Overeem is ready if it somehow was.




2013: Glover Teixeira knocked out Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 28.


Hope y’all enjoyed the fights this weekend. It was one of those cards where the name value wasn’t all that high but the action was pretty good. But this weekend, we’re getting a card that is excellent if you’re deeply invested in MMA. Probably gonna sell 100K PPVs but Nunes-Shevchenko 2 is the best fight you can make in women’s MMA right now plus there are a ton of other worthwhile scraps.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



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