McGregor may not return to featherweight after UFC 196
Conor McGregor’s fight against Nate Diaz will draw him the first $1 million disclosed purse in UFC history — and he could be staying at welterweight afterward.
The UFC 196 bout is worth a cool million for McGregor, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and that comes before any bonuses or sponsorships. Diaz, his opponent, will make $500,000 before bonuses. Neither will receive a win bonus.
The 27-year-old McGregor is the featherweight champion and enters Saturday’s fight — in which he will compete as a welterweight— as the favorite. UFC president Dana White thinks he may never drop back down to his old weight class.
“I think if he wins impressively , he doesn't even go back to 45 [pounds],” White said Friday, according to MMAFighting.com. “That's what I think. That weight cut is horrible for him. He looks terrible. I'm sure he feels terrible. I think he stays at 170 if he wins tomorrow.”
McGregor said this week that he would be willing to go back to featherweight, but pointed out that there are few appealing opponents for him left to fight in that class. No fighter has ever held UFC belts in more than one division at a time.