UFC’s loss could be WWE’s gain.
Conor McGregor announced Tuesday on Twitter that he “decided to retire young,” prompting UFC president Dana White to pull the featherweight champion from his scheduled fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 200. It’s unclear at this point whether McGregor plans to stay retired — White isn’t buying it — but if the Irishman does walk away from his mixed martial arts career, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon might want to consider picking up the phone and kicking the tires on a possible deal.
Of course, this seems like a long shot. White said Tuesday that McGregor was pulled from UFC 200 because he didn’t want to come back from training in Iceland to participate in promoting the event, but he also didn’t rule out McGregor returning to the card if the sides figure things out. Money talks, and McGregor could find his way back into the octagon sooner rather than later.
Plus, McGregor doesn’t have any professional wrestling experience. So although landing UFC’s most popular star would be a major coup for WWE, in large part because of the incredible crossover appeal it would generate, there still is the element of the unknown, which could dissuade McMahon from breaking the bank at a time when the company is trying to build up its own stars.
Regardless, social media hasn’t stopped buzzing since McGregor’s shocking “retirement” tweet, and a potential jump to WWE has been among the many possibilities discussed. In fact, some even pointed to McGregor recently following Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Shane McMahon and Becky Lynch — four members of WWE — on Twitter as proof that a move isn’t that outlandish.
If pure speculation isn’t enough, consider this: Sources told Forbes’ Anthony DiMoro that WWE believes McGregor is a perfect candidate to cross over to the WWE Universe.
DiMoro pointed to McGregor’s controversial retirement, his character, his notoriety, his marketability and his age (27) as being very appealing to WWE, which could offer The Notorious a unique and powerful platform on which to further globalize his name/brand.
So, long shot? Yes. Intriguing possibility? Oh hell yes.
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