Conor McGregor, WWE close to agreeing to WrestleMania deal

By @saihoops on
Conor McGregor, Conor McGregor's next fight
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas

UFC star Conor McGregor and his management team are currently in talks with the WWE about making a possible appearance at WrestleMania on April 2018, according to a new report. The UFC lightweight champion is taking time off after his pro boxing debut in which he suffered a 10th-round TKO defeat to Floyd Mayweather. 

Though McGregor gave a good account of himself against Mayweather, few analysts expect the Irishman to return to the boxing squared circle. McGregor's next fight in the octagon is likely to happen against either old foe Nate Diaz, the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov or interim title contenders Tony Ferguson and/or Kevin Lee. McGregor, however, has not ruled out a bout against Paulie Malignaggi, his boxing sparring partner.

According to The Sun, the Dubliner is in talks to enter a WWE ring for a one-off wrestling match. The report adds that a deal is close and that McGregor would possibly appear in April’s WrestleMania PPV event.

A source to McGregor said, “Conor is a huge wrestling fan. His entire persona on stage he has developed from watching performers like Ric Flair and The Rock. These are the top dogs at self-promotion and trash talk. He watched these guys when he was younger. This is something he’s always wanted to do. The WWE guys have asked him to do shows before with them but the timing was never really right. But this time it looks like a deal is going to be locked into place. He has some things to tie up in the UFC before he can do anything else but this is a big money deal so I can’t see him turning it down.”

WWE believe showman Conor McGregor is natural fit

Recently, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon said that McGregor's showmanship and box office appeal make him a perfect fit with the sports entertainment enterprise. “I think Conor would be a perfect fit for WWE. He certainly has the personality, the athletic ability, the appeal. He speaks his mind, he is very genuine and authentic and he has a hell of a Vince McMahon swagger," McMahon said. 

"The Notorious One" wouldn't be the first combat athlete to crossover to the WWE. In 2008, Floyd Mayweather Jr. stepped into the squared circle for a match against The Big Show at Wrestlemania XXIV. A few years later, former UFC star Ronda Rousey made an appearance at Wrestlemania 31 and delivered a hip-toss to Stephanie McMahon.  

In recent years, the UFC and WWE have developed a cordial, working relationship. Crossover star Brock Lesnar was allowed to fight former heavyweight champion Mark Hunt at UFC 200 despite being under contract with the WWE. Therefore, there is a good possibility of Conor McGregor, UFC's biggest box office draw, appearing in a WWE ring in the near future.