Conor McGregor may not have fought in the UFC for some time, but his powers of self-promotion have not dimmed during his hiatus.
The Crumlin man is preparing for his latest big money fight with Russian colossus Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday and as ever he stole the show in the pre-fight build-up.
The fight is McGregor’s first since he pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge after an attack on a bus outside the Brooklyn Centre in New York City in April.
‘The Notorious’ told reporters he expected to take home around $50m (€43.4m) from his first UFC bout in almost two years, but also boasted that he expected to be a billionaire by 35.
“I’d say I’ll close in around the $50m mark. So for a mixed martial artist to make $50m in a mixed martial arts bout it’s quite breathtaking,” he told a press conference in Las Vegas.
He is estimated to have made around €75m for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. And with his new whiskey venture, ‘Proper No. Twelve’, McGregor has set his sights high for the future.
“I’m 30 years of age, I’d say by 35 I’ll be a billionaire,” he said.
“It’s [the whiskey]exceeded expectations.
“I’m involved with a couple of people that are involved in the liquor business their entire life and they’ve never seen anything like this.
“I’m actually blown away,” he added.
Looking ahead, McGregor also said he would love to come home and fight in Croke Park before he retires from MMA.
When asked about the possibility, Croke Park chief Peter McKenna said that it’s “not impossible”, but “it’s all in the realms of speculation”.
Mr McKenna said there hasn’t been any contact from the UFC or McGregor’s team but “any request is given the once over” and is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
When asked about a return to Ireland, McGregor said he would be willing to fight anywhere back home.
“That’s what I said the other day. I said where is the Dublin fight? I know there’s situations with the Croke Park stadium,” he said.
“I know we want to do big, big, big. But I tell you what, I’ll fight in the Ringside on South Circular Road where I made my boxing debut and my MMA debut, in the Ringside club, next to the National Stadium.
“It’s a pub and it fits about 50 people but I’d fight in it.
“I certainly must, must, must, must fight in Ireland before I retire.”
Meanwhile, punters hoping to soak up the atmosphere for the Vegas fight, back in Dublin, have been dealt a blow, after the Green Isle Hotel in Clondalkin, Co Dublin – which was to host a ticketed event to show the fight – cancelled due to licensing reasons.