Conor McGregor
McGregor wants to return to UFC, but insists the money has to be right. Betsafe

Conor McGregor has warned UFC they must pay him what he feels he deserves if they ever want to lure him back into the Octagon.

McGregor, 29, became the promotion's first ever double champion when he stopped Eddie Alvarez to add the lightweight title to his featherweight crown – a title he has since been stripped of – in November 2016, but has not fought under the UFC flag since.

After taking a break from mixed martial arts for the birth of his first child, the Dubliner was given UFC's blessing to pursue a showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jnr, losing via a 10<sup>th round TKO to the former five-weight world champion in Las Vegas in August in a bout billed as the richest in combat sports history.

McGregor initially vowed to return to the Octagon but five months after stepping back out of the boxing world he is no closer to fulfilling that, with UFC president Dana White even suggesting his champion might be done with the fight game after banking a f****n' hundred million dollars".

Having dominated the headlines in 2017, McGregor is firmly aware of how much he is worth having "transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing". Speaking to Betsafe, he insisted he has every intention of continuing his career - be it in the Octagon or the boxing ring - but warns the deal on the table must be right.

"Right now, my focus is getting back into the right ring or Octagon. 2017 was historic," McGregor said. "I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavours accurately reflect my influence on combat sports. Me and my team are in continued negotiations with the UFC, and if the deal makes commercial sense, I look forward to fighting for my company in 2018."

Interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is one of many waiting for McGregor back in UFC with early negotiations between the two camps having already taken place. A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz also remains a tantalising prospect and perhaps the most lucrative as far as UFC are concerned.

Despite his time away, McGregor remains the golden ticket in mixed martial arts – and he is leaving it up to his rivals to jostle for the right to fight him.

"At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game, or whatever the next business endeavour might be."

Conor McGregor was speaking exclusively to to launch 'The Walk' ad