In November of 2016, when Conor McGregor took the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in New York City, he said he would take a little time away to become a father, and to assess his situation before deciding what would happen next.
In April 2017, a once-far-fetched crossover fight between him and undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather has slowly shifted from the space of if into the realm of when. Should the fight happen — and it’s gained momentum over recent weeks with the UFC on board in trying to facilitate it — McGregor would stand to earn the largest payday of any mixed martial arts athlete to date.
That is, somewhere in the vicinity approaching nine figures.
All of this is being discussed currently between the UFC, Mayweather’s camp, and McGregor’s management. And McGregor’s manager Audie Attar said on Monday that, though it’s exciting to contemplate the wild idea of McGregor and Mayweather trading blows, it’s still premature to consider it a done deal.
“Listen, I think there’s fan interest, and I think that’s brought us to a point where this may happen,” Attar said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “But we’ll see. Nothing is set in stone. I think it’s one of those things that’s a work in progress, but it’s definitely trending in the right direction.”
Attar said that, unlike the Manny Pacquiao-Mayweather fight that took years to materialize, the McGregor-Mayweather superclash has gone from crazy idea to trying to reach an agreement so fast because fans have been so vocal about it. He said it’s easier to gauge fan interest now than it was even a few years ago.
“I think first and foremost it’s just the fan interest,” he said. “I think Floyd and Conor organically just going back and forth, that kind of picked up the fan interest. Credit to Dana White and the UFC for recognizing a huge opportunity and wanting to be involved. I think that’s really the…I would say evolution of this whole thing.
“I think in today’s age of social media and media picking up on story lines and banter, people can also quantify and measure the viability of something like this from a business standpoint. It’s all happening organically, which is good.”
Attar, the president of Paradigm Sports Management, was vague in discussing details of the negotiations, repeating on several occasions that there’s much work to do yet in the fight coming together.
He did stress that with McGregor, who has set seemingly unattainable goals for himself publicly and met just about every one of them, it’s a unique set up. In other words, he says he doesn’t doubt McGregor’s ability to visualize something into becoming a fact.
“I can tell you that Conor is the type of athlete and individual when he focuses on something, he works towards it, and a lot of his focus and visions end up becoming a reality,” Attar said. “I think that’s something he’s always subscribed to in his career. I think it’s all trending in the right direction.”
Recently UFC president Dana White said that Mayweather would stand to make $100 million in the fight, while McGregor would take home $75 million. At the mention of those numbers being the case, Attar repeated the same line — “it’s trending in the right direction” — but did acknowledge the precipice of history that he and his client are on.
“At the end of the day, when you talk about those types of unprecedented numbers in our sport, you feel good about it,” he said. “I think it’s just one of those things where you wait and see if it becomes a reality.”
Attar did say that no deadlines for a deal to be struck have been discussed, and nor would there be a deadline issued.
From a managerial standpoint, being a critical part in the inner-workings of what would be the biggest deal on record for one of biggest fights to ever happen, Attar said he’s been moving forward with a workman’s attitude.
“Well, I would tell you, don’t always believe everything that you read,” he said. “Everything that’s great in life and business is always going to have some challenges and complications. But nevertheless if you work and keep your head down, and don’t bitch and moan about how tough something is, you don’t really focus on that negative energy. And so I haven’t. Everything has been organic like I said. And nothing’s done yet, so we’ll see how it all plays out.
“If it happens it would be an amazing thing for all parties involved.”
Even Attar couldn’t help but feel optimistic that, should the fight happen, it could possibly break the pay-per-view record currently held by Pacquiao-Mayweather (4.4 million buys).
“You hope it does, right? If it happens, you hope it does,” he said. “I think it has every bit of the ingredients needed to do so, but again it has to happen first and then we’ll see.”
Source:: mma fighting