“And the knockout of the night is McGregor,” said UFC president Dana White. His words stimulated an approving round of applause at the UFC on Fuel 9 post-fight press conference in Stockholm. Conor McGregor’s face instantly lit up and much of what was said in the moments that followed became a meaningless blur to the Irishman.
Immediately after he knocked out Marcus Brimmage in 67 seconds to begin his UFC career with a defeaning bang earlier that night, McGregor had called on White to award him with a performance bonus in a memorable interview with Kenny Florian.
In a career that has offered us so many soundbites, “Dana, 60 g’s babayy!” is still among the most memorable.
Seconds after learning that his wish had been granted, McGregor was asked to describe what is was like to finally make his debut in the big time. He made an attempt at answering but he was distracted.
“To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on here,” said the then 24-year-old Dubliner. “I just heard $60,000 and I’m just thinking of what I’m going to spend it on.”
“Just last week I was collecting the social welfare, you know what I mean? I was in there saying to them like, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve signed to the UFC. I don’t know what…blah, blah, blah.'”
“But now I suppose I’m gonna have to tell them to fuck off.”
Just three and a half years later McGregor is the highest paid athlete in all of MMA. It’s an astounding rags to riches tale.
However, McGregor’s upcoming opponent, UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, doesn’t see the romantic side to ‘The Notorious’ one’s backstory. Vexed by the featherweight champion’s not so humble brags about his drawing power during a recent interview, Alvarez revealed his thoughts on McGregor’s less than glamorous past.
“Speak the truth (Eddie). You saw the documents that (former UFC owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta) put together to give to the new owners …75 per cent of the earning power is me,” McGregor said during the interview with Fox Sports News 500 on Thursday. “That’s in writing.”
“You’re talking 150,000 buys (without me). With me you’re talking two million buys. Speak the truth.”
“I’m the reason. It’s nobody else. UFC 202, UFC 196, 194, 189, all record breakers, all smashed previous records. Even this one, the gate, the attendance, of course the pay-per-view, what do you think that is about?”
“There’s one common denominator and that’s me. You take me out and there’s 150,000 buys and that is fact. I ain’t bragging here, I’m just stating fact.”
“You were on welfare bra,” Alvarez replied. “You ain’t no man, you took welfare.”
“Don’t you talk about money. You took money from single moms, single moms go on welfare.”
“Don’t talk about money. Keep your mouth shut when you talk about money.”