Conor McGregor made a surprise appearance at BKFC 41 on Saturday and he even stepped into the ring for a friendly faceoff against Mike Perry.
The Irish superstar heard the roar of the Denver crowd as he made his way ringside for the fights where he watched former opponents Eddie Alvarez and Chad Mendes clash in the co-main event. In the headliner, McGregor witnessed Perry move to 3-0 in bare-knuckle competition after he stopped ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold in the second round.
Afterwards, Perry asked for a staredown with McGregor and despite the intense look in their eyes, the fighters were actually quite friendly as they posed for photos together. During the faceoff, McGregor declared “I’m never retiring” before he paid homage to the fighters who competed at BKFC 41.
Mike Perry calls out Conor McGregor for a face-off and @TheNotoriousMMA accepts. He enters the ring with the BKFC title over his shoulder.#BKFC41 | LIVE on #FITE pic.twitter.com/DoCw7OZTZP— FITE (@FiteTV) April 30, 2023
“It’s an incredible setup here,” McGregor said. “Incredible matchmaking. Incredible storytelling. I had to come here. I flew straight away. I was not going to miss this and it did not disappoint. All these fighters that step in here are warriors and all have my respect.”
While he’s obviously under contract to the UFC with a showdown expected against Michael Chandler later in the year, McGregor seemed to keep the door open to a potential future in bare-knuckle fighting.
He even put the BKFC title on his shoulder when he walked through the ropes to greet Perry in the ring.
“I’m into this game,” McGregor said. “I’d be into this. How am I showing up here and I’ve already got the belt? Come get it, baby! Come get the strap, baby!”
McGregor was obviously the biggest star in attendance on Saturday but there were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd including former UFC champion Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who also watched the fights from Denver.