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Saturday 24 September 2016

Sponsors silent on McGregor's 'retirement' as row rumbles on

Conor McGregor after winning the title last year Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Conor McGregor after winning the title last year Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Global sponsors for Dublin UFC fighter Conor McGregor are keeping quiet as speculation mounts about his "retirement".

The fighter caused confusion when he posted a cryptic tweet that stated: "I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later.".

McGregor (27), who is originally from Crumlin but currently resides at a Co Kildare address, did not issue any further comment on potential retirement plans last night.

UFC president Dana White warned last night that The Notorious one could be stripped of his featherweight belt before UFC 200 - if his 'retirement' is not clarified soon.

That would see Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar fight for the crown on the July card.

Sponsors for the world-renowned athlete have not commented on the potential losses the global brands could face.

His sponsors, which include Budweiser, Monster Energy and Reebok, did not respond to requests for comment when contacted by the Herald.

Billion-dollar

The details and monetary value of the sponsorship deals have never been officially disclosed.

However, it is believed the total sum of these sponsorship deals is valued in the multi-million euro region.

The Dubliner previously expressed his desire to be the MMA organisation's first billion-dollar athlete.

"All the channels, all the platforms and the numbers continue to rise. You're damn right I'll hit that billion-dollar mark.

"In 21 or 22 years, whatever the company has started, 2015 was its biggest year. Who was 2015? That was everything got to do with me," he said.

McGregor has amassed a purse of €2,516,840 from his eight UFC fights, which include a €1,870,469 performance fee and a €273,383 bonus fee, along with a €97,000 bonus from Reebok.

However, the figures do not take into account the Pay Per View (PPV) figures, which add on a multi-million sum to his overall fight pay-out.

His net worth has been estimated at approximately €11m - a far cry from the billion-dollar sum he wished to achieve before his retirement.

He also has assets which include a €2m mansion in Co Kildare, a Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead worth in the region of €440,000 and several luxury items including Rolex watches.

The chief of the UFC, Dana White, has said that a disagreement over media obligations ahead of his scheduled bout against Nate Diaz is the reason for McGregor being pulled from the UFC 200 promotion.

"Well, what's happened is we pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200 and we are working with other fighters," White said.

"Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be part of the marketing that we have, he's in Iceland at the moment and it's not possible.

"Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don't know.

"But Conor McGregor is not fighting at UFC 200," he added.

Conor currently stars in a Budweiser ad in which he walks around his native Dublin promoting the brand.

Popular

The 40-second video, titled Dream Big, features McGregor's giving a short motivational speech.

However, the national broadcaster has opted against showing it as they feel that it might encourage young people to drink alcohol.

Current advertising guidelines prohibit brands from using 'heroes of the young' to market alcohol and RTE reportedly feels that since McGregor is so popular, the ad falls into that category.

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