McGregor expects $50m payday from UFC 229 after Khabib storms out

Conor McGregor is set to collect a "breathtaking" cheque after he steps into the octagon to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov on Saturday.

UFC star Conor McGregor is set to return to the octagon after two years away from the sport.   -  AP

Conor McGregor is anticipating a $50million payday from his UFC 229 blockbuster against Khabib Nurmagomedov, who stormed out of the news conference after being kept waiting by the outspoken Irishman.

McGregor and unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib were supposed to front the media together on Thursday, just days out from Saturday's showdown in Las Vegas.

Khabib, however, was left on the stage alone – sat across from an empty McGregor table as the Russian fielded questions by himself.

"15 minutes. I'm here. This guy is not, "Nurmagomedov told reporters. "This is big disrespect."

 

"He's late," Nurmagomedov said. "I have schedule, 3pm it is time for this conference to begin. Because I have schedule. I have to make weight, I have to worry about myself. Why do I have to worry about him? If somebody is late, it is not my fault.

"Weight cut is always hard. Always is hard. Thursday, this is my weight-cut day, that's why I don't want to be waiting for someone 30 minutes, 40 minutes. 3pm is press conference."

UFC star McGregor – set to return to the octagon after two years away from the sport – eventually made his entrance 30 minutes later.

As soon as McGregor sat down and picked up the microphone, the 30-year-old – who faced boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a lucrative bout last year – took aim at Khabib's absence before revealing the financial figures behind the fight.

 

"He knew what he f****** signed up for," McGregor said. "He didn't say anything the last time, so, it is what it is. F*** it. These things happen."

"Look, you can't plan this," McGregor continued. "I tried to get here. Like I said, I'm only a couple of minutes late, for God's sake. That backwards c***, he should have stayed. That's a sign. He doesn't want to be around me, he doesn't want to be around these people. He is petrified, and that's it.

"I've given you enough face-offs and stuff down the years. Let's hope he pulls weight. Get that man into the sauna and cook him like the little chicken-jaw rat that he is."

 

Asked about the money he could collect from the clash at T-Mobile Arena, McGregor smiled: "We're estimating around 3 to 3.5m [pay-per-view buys], I'd say I'll close in around the $50m mark.

"So, for a mixed martial artist to make $50m from a mixed martial arts bout, it's quite breathtaking."

McGregor added: "I'm 30 now, say by about 35 I'll be a billionaire."