There is little doubt that Conor McGregor has an exceptional amount of leverage against the UFC brass.
The UFC featherweight champion knocked out the only previous undisputed 145-pound champ in UFC history, Jose Aldo, in 13 seconds to usurp the throne. The victory was just the latest in a long list of reasons why McGregor is likely the biggest star currently active on the roster.
However, despite McGregor's rapidly rising stock, a former UFC champion, Randy Couture, is not convinced that McGregor will be able to promote himself as a separate entity from the UFC.
"Well I know that was a huge stumbling block with Fedor and trying to sign Fedor, back when I was pursuing that fight specifically as a contracted fighter with the UFC and that was the fight that I told them that I wanted," Couture told Submission Radio. "I was ranked number two in the world; he was ranked number one in the world at the time. I know they negotiated with him for a long time, but M-1 Global wanted to do co-promotion, and they were kind of handling and managing, representing Fedor. And that was a stumbling block. They were like, ‘no we're not going to put anybody else over. We don't need another promotion, we don't need a co-promotion, we're the UFC and that's it'.
Given the UFC's bitter history with Fedor and M-1 Global, Couture can't imagine a different scenario with McGregor if he decides to become his own promotional entity
"I would be very surprised if that happens. I would be interested to hear that conversation and how that would get by."