As Conor McGregor nears his return to the Octagon, the thought of having another high-profile boxing match — whether it’s a rematch against Floyd Mayweather or a bout against Manny Pacquiao — is something he believes will become reality.
“I’d like to rematch Floyd,” McGregor said in a wide-ranging interview that aired Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I think we should rematch Floyd.
“I mean, he’s flirting with it … he can go and pick someone else, [but] it’s not gonna be the same.”
Mayweather scored a 10th-round TKO of McGregor in a cross-sport boxing match on Aug. 26, 2017. The fight generated 4.3 million domestic pay-per-view buys and more than $600 million in total revenue, Showtime announced. It ranked second in those numbers behind Mayweather’s bout with Pacquiao in 2015.
UFC president Dana White said recently he has a handshake deal with Mayweather to come out of retirement and compete. White said he’ll start talking to Mayweather promoter Al Haymon, maybe this summer, and then possibly have something for Mayweather in the fall. He did not say whether the fight would be boxing, MMA or a combination. McGregor said there was a verbal agreement to have an MMA component the last time, but he said he wouldn’t push for that this time because “it’s not going to happen.”
“It was a great, great experience, and, you know, I look forward to doing it again,” McGregor said. “It’s going to happen again.”
McGregor, who faces Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 on Saturday in Las Vegas, said there have been talks about a rematch with Mayweather, although he didn’t specify how serious they’ve been or with whom. He also said there have been negotiations with Pacquiao.
“There was an offer made on [a Pacquiao bout],” McGregor said.
When asked what happened, McGregor said “not just yet.”
Saturday will mark McGregor’s first fight since Oct. 6, 2018, when he was choked out by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor has criticized his preparation for that fight in the past, but he offered some new details about his level of commitment.
“I was drinking all bleeding fight week the last time,” he said, explaining he had never drank to that extent during previous fight camps. “I just had this venom in me or something. I don’t know why.
“I had people holed up in a hotel, from that part of the world. [Nurmagomedov is from Dagestan.] And I would ring and arrange a fight. So they come from the hotel down to the gym and have a full-blown fight, no head guard. I’d win. You know, we’d have a war and I’d win and I’d knock the guy out. And then I’d go off and celebrate, and then I’d come back in three days.”
McGregor, who owns a brand of whiskey called Proper No. 12, said he hasn’t had a drink in approximately four months and described this camp as “flawless.”
“I’ve made mistakes,” McGregor said. “And, you know, I’ve been man enough to admit them and correct them. And that’s what I’ve done. I mean, I might not be perfect, right? But with a good sleep and a full belly, I’m damn close.”
McGregor said he signed a new one-fight contract with the UFC for the Cerrone bout. He said he estimates he’ll make approximately $80 million on Saturday, which would be a UFC record. He said he made about $50 million for the Nurmagomedov fight.
“Very excited to see how it unfolds,” McGregor said. “They think I’m toast, but I’m still the bread.”
McGregor also denied allegations that surfaced when The New York Times reported that he faces two sexual assault investigations.
The Times reported in March that McGregor was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel in south Dublin. He was arrested and released after questioning in January. That case was given to Ireland’s prosecutor’s office earlier this year, according to the Times.
The newspaper reported in October that a woman accused McGregor of sexually assaulting her in a vehicle outside a Dublin pub. McGregor was not questioned by police or charged amid the second allegation, according to the Times.
McGregor was asked whether he could 100% deny the allegations. “Yes, f—ing hell … come on, seriously?” he said. “Time, please, that’s all. Time will reveal all, time will tell all. And then that’s it.”