When the surprising news Brock Lesnar was returning to MMA hit a few months ago, there was a lot of speculation that Dana White might send someone under contract to UFC over to a pro wrestling event as compensation - to return the favor - for letting Lesnar fight in the Octagon while signed to WWE.
One of the names which got bandied about a lot was Conor McGregor’s. But when asked about it on a Aug. 5 conference call for his upcoming rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 202, the Featherweight champ dismissed the idea... in typical Notorious style.
He also worked in shots at Brock and CM Punk, whose name he said he couldn’t remember:
For the most part, those WWE guys are p*ssies, to be honest. They're messed up p*ssies, if you ask me. Fair play to Brock, he got in and fought, but at the end of the day he was juiced up to the f*cking eye balls, so how can I respect that? And then what's the other guy? The other guy hasn't fought yet, so I don't know about him yet.
McGregor didn’t dismiss everyone associated with WWE. The folks who cut checks or have serious pull have the Irishman’s respect:
There's some dons in that wrestling game. The McMahons, they're dons. Triple H is a don. The Rock is a don. But the rest of them are p*ssies.
While a lot of people, especially in the MMA press (including our sister site MMA Fighting, who first published these quotes), read these comments as McGregor dismissing working with WWE, they can also be interpreted as laying the groundwork for a moneymaking angle or run in the future. Conor is nothing if not a savvy businessman and self-promoter, and he knows heat sells fights - whether they’re shoot or worked.
Coming off his first high-profile loss to Diaz earlier this year, the Notorious One has been about removing distractions from his plate in order to get his MMA house in order. That’s why he says he turned down some film roles in recent months.
So, while WWE is clearly not in his short-term plans, even the way he announces that is done in a way that would help him earn big time, for himself and the “dons”, should he decide to do it in the future:
I haven't really thought of that to be honest. Again, that's a little more show business. This is the fight business.
Conor, like WWE, knows a lot about how to take the best of both the fight and show businesses to benefit his own bottom line.