The long-running wish of many, including Conor McGregor himself, that he may one day return to Dublin’s Croke Park for a marquee UFC bout, looks as doubtful as ever.
The early days of McGregor’s rise to prominence in the Octagon saw him face Diego Brandao at the 02 Arena in his homeland back in July of 2014.
Then main-eventing a non-pay-per-view UFC ‘Fight Night’ card, McGregor’s star has since risen to the extent that another non-PPV fight would see him lose out on an eight figure payday.
This limitation to PPV has been a constant obstacle to a triumphant Dublin return. The lucrative west coast market of the United States are eight hours behind Ireland, meaning that such an event would have to start at 3am at the earliest, as UFC 204 did in Manchester.
i could see a PPV in croke park in 2017 IF they can cover it and IF they get late licence as probably have to be 3am main card.
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) August 24, 2016
The Croke Park Area Residents Association, who infamously blocked a string of Garth Brooks concerts at Croker, are also a stumbling block.
“I don’t think it would be something that we would be very keen to see coming to Croke Park”, they stated in 2015.
“Personally speaking, I think the fights are very brutal and violent. I’d be surprised if the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) would endorse that sport. I don’t know the type of people that follow him and what sort of atmosphere there is in terms of rowdiness, in terms of public order, they are all the things that we would be seriously concerned about.
Now a new concern has arisen via SBG head coach John Kavanagh.
As he told Colette Sexton of the Sunday Business Post, a payout similar to the near-nine figure sum expected from McGregor’s bout next week against Floyd Mayweather is rendered impossible in Ireland due to taxes.
“Taxes. Torturous”, Kavanagh said.
“The fight would generate a nine-figure sum, and in Ireland half of that would go on taxes, while in Las Vegas, they only have to pay a 10 per cent tax.”
Don’t expect to see the Notorious one take to the Octagon (or indeed the boxing ring) on home soil anytime soon.