Conor McGregor’s teammate says he’s motivated by competition, not money

There has been plenty of speculation ahead of Saturday night that if Conor McGregor could pull off the upset and beat Floyd Mayweather that he may leave the sport of mixed martial arts forever and instead pursue a new career in boxing.

The logic is understandable given McGregor will likely earn north of $100 million for the fight and if he defeats Mayweather that would give him a win over arguably the best boxer of this generation on his first day in the sport.

Typically speaking, boxing also pays a lot higher than MMA when it comes to superstars at the top of a card like what McGregor would command should he get past Mayweather this weekend.

That being said, McGregor’s long time teammate and close friend Artem Lobov says he expects the reigning UFC lightweight champion to step back into the Octagon in the future as well as pursue more titles in boxing.

According to Lobov, McGregor is more concerned about facing the best possible competition and not so much which fight is going to provide him with the biggest payday.

“Well to be honest, one thing you have to remember about Conor, he’s a very competitive guy. So he will be where the competition is,” Lobov told the Fight Society podcast. “Right now, him beating Mayweather it’s something very few people believe can happen. So that’s motivation for him, that’s what’s motivating him to do it. He’s such a competitive guy. You won’t find a guy as competitive as him.

“If you were to give $100 million to all the UFC fighters right now, very few of them would ever come back for another fight but Conor’s different. He is not motivated by money. He’s got different motives. So he will be back doing both MMA and boxing depending on where the challenge presents itself.”

While McGregor remains a heavy underdog going into his fight with Mayweather, Lobov promises that fans will be surprised when they actually see what the Irishman can do inside a boxing ring.

McGregor may have a 0-0 record in boxing, but Lobov says that the only simultaneous two division champion in UFC history has plenty of experience with the sweet science but he opted to participate in a much tougher sport like MMA.

“This is nothing new to him,” Lobov said. “He’s sparring professional boxers all the time. So people feel that he’s coming into the sport as an amateur, someone that’s never boxed before but that’s not true. He’s boxed plenty and he’s very, very good at it. To me it’s come as no surprise. I already knew that he would be very dominant in the boxing world. I’ve been suggesting that to him for a long time.

“Boxing is not an easy sport, it’s a very difficult sport but compared to MMA it’s a walk in the park.”

McGregor will look to prove his point when he faces Mayweather in what will undoubtedly be the biggest fight of 2017.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.