Conor McGregor has done more for the popularity and exposure of the UFC than any athlete in the history of MMA. He’s done that through thrilling performances (at the start of his Octagon career) and a willingness to act the fool for the cameras; selling fights with childish trash talk that sometimes crosses over into vile and bigoted statements.
His shtick has made himself richer than most and the promotion has benefited tremendously. And despite the headaches McGregor brings, with wild antics during UFC events and a slew of outside of the cage controversies, the UFC seems ecstatic to continue working with its notorious Golden Goose.
Another promoter who would be more than happy to look the other way on McGregor’s arrests, threats and questionable associations in exchange for oodles of cash is Eddie Hearn. The famous boxing promoter recently spoke with JOE about the Irishman and what it would be like working with him.
“Conor McGregor, I mean he’s a promoter’s dream,” Hearn gushed (ht sportskeeda). “You wouldn’t even have to do anything, you just announce the fight, let him do a press conference, you can go on holiday, you know.”
“He’s one of a kind,” continued Hearn. “I don’t know a huge amount about MMA, but he was very good, obviously, but what a character. He really comes from a sport and a business where the brand is bigger than the talent, but he was one of the first that made the talent bigger than the brand, so Conor McGregor. Sorry Dana and my friends there, but [McGregor] almost was UFC at one stage and continues to be globally you know one of the most recognizable faces of of sport.”
Hearn and McGregor’s worlds have collided in the past. Who can forget in 2017 when McGregor made the improbable leap from the Octagon to the boxing ring to face Floyd Mayweather Jr.
After gaining a boxing license, McGregor could have won independence from the UFC and become even richer than he is now with that spectacle. However, McGregor decided to include Dana White and the UFC in the deal, helping the promotion continue to profit off of his name,
The fight itself ended in a TKO loss for McGregor. Though, the event was a box office smash earning banner paydays for all involved.
Since then McGregor has gone 1-3 in MMA with high profile losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. His last fight, at last year’s UFC 264, resulted in a broken leg.
McGregor appears to be fully healed from that injury. It is expected he will make a return to the Octagon in the near future, possibly against former title challenger Michael Chandler.