MMA: Next fight in octagon, not boxing ring: Conor McGregor

MMA star Conor McGregor at the world premiere of the documentary Conor McGregor: Notorious, on Nov 1.
MMA star Conor McGregor at the world premiere of the documentary Conor McGregor: Notorious, on Nov 1.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK • Mixed martial arts (MMA) star Conor McGregor, touted as a potential opponent for Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, has indicated that he wants his next bout to be a return to the octagon rather than the ring.

Caught on video by the celebrity news site TMZ while out and about in New York, he was asked about Pacquiao's announcement last week that he had opened talks to fight McGregor.

"I think a true fight is what I want to do next," McGregor said in the video posted online on Saturday. "A real fight. What's a real fight?"

When pressed what that meant, he replied: "MMA next."

The 29-year-old Irishman has not fought in mixed martial arts or boxing since losing a boxing bout to unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather by a 10th round technical knockout in their much-hyped clash in Las Vegas in August.

Many had thought McGregor performed admirably despite the defeat and might stay in boxing for more lucrative contracts.

Showtime sports released final figures on Friday showing the cross-combat superfight drew the second-most North American pay-per-view buys in history with 4.3 million.

Only one other fight - Mayweather's 2015 clash with Pacquiao - has drawn more, racking up 4.6 million pay-per-view buys.

Showtime added in a statement that global revenues, including ticket sales, sponsorship and international distribution, for Mayweather-McGregor had exceeded US$600 million (S$809 million).

McGregor also scoffed at the idea of fighting in the WWE, using an expletive to say, no, he was not going to follow in fellow MMA star Ronda Rousey's footsteps.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2017, with the headline 'Next fight in octagon, not boxing ring: McGregor'. Print Edition | Subscribe