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How does Conor McGregor Boxing License Impact UFC?

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On Wednesay, Conor McGregor has been issued a boxing license by the California State Athletic Commission and people are now excited to see Conor step on a boxing ring and make a name for himself. He already became the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two divisions after defeating Eddie Alvarez in UFC 205 and would want to add opportunities and fan base.

What does this mean to UFC? This is mostly a payday move and fighters has been complaining that UFC who has recently been sold for $4 Billion dollars is a billion dollar business built upon the sweat and blood of its fighters, fighters who are not paid well. Conor McGregor is one of the rare highest paid fighters in UFC who netted $40 million dollars in UFC 205 but he did bring in the viewers as UFC 205 brought in the highest gate sales in history with $17.7 million dollars followed only by the $13.5 million dollars in 1999 Lenox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield. UFC 205 also brought in 1.9 million PPV buys the biggest in the company’s history. Mayweather netted $230 million dollars for his fight against Pacquiao with a PPV buys of 4 million viewers. The $40 million payday of Conor McGregor on the 1.9 million PPV buys seems spare change to old school boxing.

While UFC fighters know this, Conor McGregor is in a position to demand as per his latest statement toward UFC — “If you want to come at me, if you want me to stick around and help service that debt and continue to push the company, bring me on board, for real. “I need to be set for life for this. If you want me to be truly on on board, then I need to be all-in on this proper, as an owner, and have an equity stake in the company. That’s what I’m looking for.”

While the boxing license doesn’t immediately mean Conor McGregor is going to fight Floyd Mayweather because Conor McGregor is under contract with UFC and there are only three scenarios where Conor can get a shot:

1. UFC willingly allows Conor McGregor to enter the boxing ring
2. UFC cashes in big with a Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather right
3. Conor McGregor finds a way to get out of contract from UFC

The only likely scenario that will happen here is #2 wherein UFC will make lots of money off this fight which would still mean nothing for Conor McGregor because his primary objective is to get a $100 million dollar payday on a boxing fight.

Given this scenario there isn’t going to be an immediate impact for UFC as they control the cards and while Conor is their biggest fighter, a single loss by Conor to an upcoming rematch with Nate Diaz or another fighter could exponentially drop his ratings again while UFC remains afloat.

Long-term impact would mean that a lot of fighters would be demanding for higher earnings or looking for a crossover to boxing. The pressure it would bring to UFC from a growing number of fighters with higher demands would keep on increasing and sooner or later UFC will have to make changes to their structure.

Conor McGregor boxing license is more of a wake-up call for now, but not strong enough to deliver a knockout punch on the UFC negotiating table.

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