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Conor McGregor confirms he was supposed to fight at UFC 224

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Conor McGregor
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos were close to settling a beef that began over two years ago.

On Wednesday, “The Notorious” celebrated his top-five placement on Forbes’s 2018 list of the world’s highest-paid athletes via social media, while also dropping a tidbit about a recent fight booking falling through.

“Made it to number four on the Forbes list this year,” McGregor wrote. “If I had of fought on the agreed May 12 bout in Rio de Janeiro, I would have surpassed (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi to take second place.”

May 12 was the date of UFC 224, which would eventually be headlined by women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington.

McGregor’s message confirms a report by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani in which the former two-division UFC champion could have had a shot at a third belt. The plan was for McGregor to fight Rafael dos Anjos for an interim welterweight title. Had that bout come to fruition, it would have provided some closure for both men.

Back in the spring of 2016, dos Anjos was scheduled to defend the lightweight championship against McGregor, then the featherweight champion, at UFC 196. A foot injury forced dos Anjos to withdraw from the contest and McGregor would go on to fight late-notice replacement Nate Diaz in a welterweight bout.

In regards to why this second potential meeting with dos Anjos fell through, McGregor wrote, “Something came up,” a reference to the legal problems that arose as a result of his wild appearance he made at a media event for UFC 223 on April 5 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. McGregor and several of his associates went on a rampage backstage, culminating in him throwing a dolly through a bus window in an attempt to attack rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor is currently facing three charges of assault and one count of criminal mischief for his involvement in the incident.

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