Conor McGregor eyes billionaire status by age of 35, targets $80m Cowboy payday

By Sports Desk January 14, 2020

Conor McGregor is confident he will achieve billionaire status by the time he is 35 and wants to fight at the highest level for many more years.

The 31-year-old makes his UFC return in Las Vegas on Saturday against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone, as he looks for a first win since his victory over Eddie Alvarez back in November 2016.

McGregor revealed he is not a reckless spender anymore and with the combination of his fight earnings, endorsements and his own ventures such as clothing and whiskey ranges, he expects his wealth to reach 10 figures.

Asked by ESPN if he would fight until he was 40, McGregor said: "Yeah! I don't know, probably. I'm going to have a solid couple of years at least though, I know that. I'll be rocking until a good 35.

"I'll be a billionaire by the time I'm 35."

McGregor expects to achieve the biggest purse of his UFC career against Cowboy, with $80million the figure he has in mind.

He believes his $5m guaranteed purse against Cowboy, which is still a record for a UFC fighter, will be comprehensively eclipsed.

"It's going to be a good pay cheque," he said. "Probably the most ever in my mixed martial arts career. I'm estimating a good $80m.

"We have Australia, Canada and England and Ireland, so it should be a good one.

"[I made] $50m [against Khabib Nurmagomedov]. They think I'm toast but I'm still the bread.

"But no amount of money will stop my hunger to compete and entertain. Long may the opponents continue to come and I'll continue to knock them down."

The Irishman vowed to never forget his roots, having come from a life on welfare to achieve astonishing financial success.

McGregor said: "Of course I make sure I stay to my roots always and keep where I come from in my way of thinking. Never forget.

"I spend a lot less. I have a lot of things. About a year ago I read LeBron James had spent $1.5million annual on his health, his nutrition, training, everything and I spend nothing.

"Only in camp [did I spend] to bring a team together. So I thought that was not the way to do this, I drop money on a bleeding car or a watch!

"So now I'm spending on my health and my fitness, and that helped me. Then you can acquire even more when you are sharp.

"I spend less on possessions now, though you've got to go through that [phase] when you get a windfall. It doesn't excite me now. I'm more interested in creating."

Asked if he reads lists of the highest-paid athletes, McGregor added: "That's my list, I'm coming for that list! It alternates by year, not sure where I was this year, but not bad, I was up there. 

"The decade one I saw Floyd Mayweather was top of the decade, so fair play to him, he's just not so good at the management of it.

"I'm still a good way away [from a billion]. I'll get there. I've got the methods. It's something that excites me, but it's not why I fight. I'm involved in so many businesses but there is no business like the fight business."

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    UFC president Dana White revealed his children thought Reyes had done enough to get the decision and were plaguing him for answers over why Jones retained his light-heavyweight title.

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    "He landed some hard hits. The fans like it when they see me get hit - it doesn't happen very often," Jones said.

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    He added, according to ESPN: "That's the way to make American history right there: hard-fought.

    "It wasn't the most impressive victory, but nothing, absolutely nothing that has never been done before is easy. It is never easy. I left it all out there, showed the heart of a champion in the fifth round, and it's so sweet."

    Jones, who certainly came on strong in the fourth and fifth rounds, was not in the mood for modesty after confirmation his reign as champion would continue.

    "Obviously, my body is hurting, but this victory is so sweet. This fight helps to put me as one of the greatest American athletes of all time," he said.

    Reyes, a 30-year-old from California who suffered his first loss, took a swipe at the 49-46 verdict against him, insisting that was a false reflection of the match-up.

    He said: "I do feel disrespected. I know I won that fight ... I made Jon Jones look like just a man. I brought the fight to him.

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    But White spared a thought for Reyes, too.

    "My kids are terrorising me that the fix is in," he said. "[They are asking:] 'How does this happen, Dad? Reyes won the fight!'

    "None of us are judges. The judges call the fight, and that's it."

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