He is now waiting on Floyd Mayweather’s signature for a super-fight
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s mental warfare is on another level to almost every other fighter in the game.
Since becoming the UFC’s first ever simultaneous two-division champion after beating Eddie Alvarez last November, the Dubliner is looking to do the unthinkable in boxing.
He has brought a psychological edge into every one of his UFC fights before a punch or kick has ever been thrown.
Dustin Poirier admitted after his loss to the Irishman that he was too emotional heading into their contest wich ended in a first round stoppage for the Dubliner.
Jose Aldo looked a different fighter from the one that dominated the featherweight division in the lead up to his title fight with McGregor and subsequently lunged head-first into a counter left hand which stripped him of his championship belt.
Conor McGregor during the post-fight press conference. Image: ©INPHO/Tom Hogan
Earlier this week, the Dubliner came to terms with his employers at the UFC to fight unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather in a super-fight later this year.
However, if we look at the tone of McGregor's statement, released on his own website, TheMacLife.com, his true colours can be seen.
"It is an honor to sign this record breaking deal alongside my partners Zuffa LLC, The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Paradigm Sports Management,” McGregor stated.
“The first, and most important part of this historic contract has now officially been signed off on. Congratulations to all parties involved. We now await Al Haymon and his boxer’s signature in the coming days.”
Rather than an employee, McGregor sees himself as an equal partner with the UFC. He is doing them a favour in his eyes, and maybe he is. The pay-per-view numbers on this fight will blow anything the UFC has ever recorded out of the water.
Deconstructing the statement further, the Irishman then takes a thinly veiled but obvious swipe at Mayweather suggesting it’s over to him now to sign on the dotted line or it is he who will be letting the expectant fans down.
The mental warfare with Mayweather has already begun. He didn't even mention the American by name in his statement but rather as a minion to his manager, Al Haymon.
Haymon has guided Mayweather’s career expertly since the boxer bought himself out of his contract with Top Rank in 2006.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) lands a punch on Oscar De La Hoya (R). Image: ©INPHO/Getty Images
The American went on to become the biggest ppv draw in boxing history and kept most of the profits for himself.
Of course, all McGregor has done is agree his split with the UFC of their side of the fight proceeds. Negotiating with Mayweather will be a far more difficult task. It took five years to get the Pacquiao fight signed off.
Mayweather took the lion's share of the 60-40 split his team negotiated with Manny Pacquiao for the “Fight of the Century” in 2015. That fight sold over 4.4 million ppv units alone at $100 and it doesn’t include gate receipts, advertising revenue or closed-circuit tickets sales.
The months of speculation over what some have considered a farcical mismatch in a pure boxing fight looks like it will now be settled in the ring.
Mayweather retired from boxing in September 2015 with a perfect record of 49-0.
He stated recently he would only come out of retirement to fight McGregor.
He rarely gets backed into a corner but that's where he finds himself. The best counter-puncher in the game has to fire back now. The world awaits.