Photos by Phil Lambert

When Conor McGregor finishes his battle with Michael Chandler at UFC 303, he’ll leave the octagon as a fighter with only one bout left on his contract.

The Irish superstar documented prior to signing his latest bout agreement that his current deal with the UFC only had two fights remaining, and one comes against Chandler on June 29. As the biggest draw in UFC history, it seems highly unlikely the promotion will let McGregor slip away, but the former two-division champion has long aspired to test himself in other areas, including a potential return to boxing — and he’s even shown interest in testing the waters in bare-knuckle competition.

After attending a BKFC show last year, McGregor touted that he wanted to throw hands without gloves at least once in his career. That was exactly what Mike Perry wanted to hear after inviting McGregor into the ring for an impromptu faceoff following his destructive win over ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold.

Now, almost exactly one year later, Perry isn’t banking on that fight materializing, but he’s also smart enough to know that anything is possible, especially with the kind of leverage McGregor maintains over his own career.

“I think it could be a possibility,” Perry told MMA Fighting of fighting McGregor. “When my manager shared it and [he was like], ‘This will happen,’ I was like, whoa, that’s cool.

“Look, Conor likes to throw hands. He’s a great boxer. Fought Floyd Mayweather. He got a front row seat to watch my show with Luke [Rockhold] and he gave me respect by coming into the ring and giving me some of his time there. I think it would be fun and incredible.”

Of course, Perry understands that signing up for a fight with McGregor can be an invitation to some of the most vicious trash talk in the sport.

McGregor rose to fame in part because he never had a problem speaking his mind, and there’s no line he won’t cross to engage in mental warfare with his opposition. He famously engaged in a verbal attack on Dustin Poirier’s wife, and did much of the same to Khabib Nurmagomedov before they met in 2018.

Perry concedes that he’ll never match McGregor word for word, but he’s not sure the always outspoken Irishman could keep up with him punch for punch in the ring.

“Maybe he would rip me apart with the words. I’d be there for it!” Perry said. “Let’s go! I’d learn a thing or two for sure, and I’d try to teach him a thing or two in the ring when it came to fighting. I wouldn’t want any excuses and I’m sure he’s so good at talking, he wouldn’t have any excuses if we did fight and it goes the way I think it would go.

“It could possibly be that big dream fight that people are waiting on. I’ll just keep winning in the meantime and keep scaring these guys from wanting to come over here and see me.”

Since largely becoming the face of BKFC, Perry has called out a number of high-profile opponents with hopes he could get even bigger fights for his bare-knuckle career.

A couple have answered the challenge, but Perry believes he may have accidentally scared a few away with his brutal performances. That list might include one-time UFC title challenger Darren Till, who Perry claimed turned down a $2 million offer to fight him at the upcoming BKFC KnuckleMania IV card in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Instead, Perry faces UFC veteran Thiago Alves in the main event.

Unlike the Till matchup, Perry has little doubt that if the financials are in place, McGregor would absolutely go to war with him, which is why he won’t discount the chance that the fight could happen down the road.

“Darren Till’s going to keep being scared,” Perry said. “If Thiago shows up, what I do to him might scare some others and it might bring up some real ones. Conor’s a real one. He might see the challenge there and really be interested.”

Author: Staff

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