In an alternate reality, the UFC 205 card’s main event was Tyron Woodley versus Stephen Thompson, and the when the decision was announced, the assembled audience for the promotion’s first foray into Madison Square Garden rushed to the exits so they could catch the next train home.
Instead, we got Conor McGregor – superstar elite – taking out lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez, and not a single soul made any movement towards the exit even after Bruce Buffer made the result official. Everyone was waiting for McGregor to speak. And when he spoke, it was awesome.
The first UFC event in New York City was made magical by McGregor, and it’s hard to argue against the notion that the monstrous pay-per-view buy rates he’s had for the events he’s headlined helped influence the UFC’s sale to WME-IMG. McGregor has literally elevated the sport.
At the postfight presser, McGregor talked of the impending birth of his first kid, and said that he was stepping away for a little while for that, and that if the new owners of the UFC wanted him back, they were going to have to do a little more than show him the money.
McGregor wants an equity stake in the promotion.
(In case you don’t know, that means he’d get a share of the profits of the organization.)
Honestly, given how much he’s changed the sport and how much he’s made the events he headlines into “must-see TV”, he deserves whatever he asks for.
What do you think? Has McGregor done enough to earn an ownership stake in the UFC?