Conor McGregor
McGregor now has a license to box - but has it really changed anything? Getty

On Thursday (1 December), the saga surrounding the future of Conor McGregor took another turn when it emerged the UFC icon had been granted a license permitting him to box in the state of California.

Within hours, it was one of the most prominent stories in sport. Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather was back on, it seemed. Both men have teased fight fans over the prospect of what would surely be the richest fight in combat sport history, but does yesterday's development really make any difference?

On the face of it, no. Getting a license to box was comfortably the easiest hurdle for the McGregor camp to overcome. Convincing Mayweather to come out of retirement over a year after he hung up his gloves is an entirely different prospect. While the 39-year-old explained in September the idea of a meeting the Dubliner in the ring had been discussed, he told Fighthype there were no plans for it to happen and had "moved on".

McGregor also remains under contract with UFC. Typical contracts prohibit fighters from competing in any other capacity. Making the Mayweather fight happen without a lengthy legal battle would need UFC backing, something Dana White insists isn't an option.

It's also worth pointing out that while McGregor was granted a license to box in California, his attempts to get one in Nevada – where Mayweather ruled in his last 14 fights before retiring – were rejected.

But fuelling speculation over a fight with Mayweather could just be an added bonus for what McGregor is really doing here. He long transcended the status of mere UFC fighter and is now one of sport's most recognised and marketable faces. The 28-year-old has casual MMA fans under his spell and his growing audience hangs on his every word. He feels he is bigger than UFC and has made it abundantly clear he doesn't feel he is getting his fair share.

WME-IMG's $4bn takeover of UFC last July created limitless opportunities for people like McGregor, and the Dubliner has demanded he is in a position to get what he feels he deserves.

On 12 November, he made UFC history, becoming the first man in the promotion's history to hold two titles at the same time. Having knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to claim featherweight gold in December 2015, he swept past Eddie Alvarez to take the lightweight title in Madison Square Garden, seeing off the Philadelphian with a vicious four-punch combo that helped contribute to the Mayweather hype.

Speaking after the win, he told UFC's powers-that-be: "I need to be set for life for this. If you want me to be truly on board, then I need to be all-in on this proper, as an owner, and I have an equity stake in the company. That's what I'm looking for."

Fully aware he is the driving force of the company, he added: "They've got to come talk to me now. I want the ownership now. If we are going to keep doing this, let's talk, but I want an equal share. I want what I've deserved, what I've earned."

So far, McGregor's requests don't appear to have been granted. The only development to emerge since those comments was the decision to strip the Irish fighter of his featherweight title. While it always seemed the logical next step – a log jam in a competitive weight with 'The Notorious' not planning to fight again until May 2017 just isn't feasible – McGregor's camp have been exasperated with the decision.

Picking up a boxing license and fuelling the talk of a fight with Mayweather seems appropriate leverage for McGregor to use in order to get what he wants. While Mayweather vs McGregor is still very much in dream fight territory, Thursday's developments could at least get UFC chiefs sweating. So far, McGregor has taken whatever he wants in the UFC. This could now extend to the boardroom.