Conor McGregor is keeping is options open right now as he takes a hiatus from the UFC for the birth of his first child.
McGregor's agent Audie Attar confirmed that the Dubliner has obtained a licence to box in California.
Breaking: Conor McGregor has been issued a boxing license in the state of California, per his manager @AudieAttar.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 1, 2016
California State Athletic Commission official Andy Foster confirmed the news to MMAFighting.com.
He got a license today and a federal ID. He's a California boxer now.
He's qualified [as a boxer]. I'd love to see him fight in California. It just needs to be the right opponent. Certainly a high-level opponent. We're happy to license him. We're happy he's a California fighter.
Thoughts immediately turned to the possibility of McGregor fighting Floyd Mayweather upon breaking of the news. The two have trash-talked via the media and teased the possibility of a fight on multiple occasions.
CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN's Dan Rafael that he believes McGregor's acquisition of the licence is nothing more than a ploy to remain in the headlines.
It's all a game. It's all a calculated effort to gain more fans. He got a boxing license. Congratulations to him. Conor McGregor can say anything he wants to, but he has a boss and his name is [UFC president] Dana White. He is under contract to the UFC, and if he wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, he can't because his bosses wouldn't allow that to happen.
The brass [from WME-IMG] who recently purchased the UFC are very smart people and they would never -- and put this in bold caps -- let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather because everyone knows what the outcome would be. He would get his ass beat from pillar to post.
Ellerbe went on to call McGregor's move a 'con job'.
At the end of the day, he's under contract with the UFC. He's told what to do. He's an employee. He's done a masterful con job to try to trick people that he could actually pull this off. It's another creative way to create more interest. Nobody is mad but it's a con job trying to make people think this is real and even mentioning him and TBE [The Best Ever, Mayweather's nickname] in the same breath is disrespectful, completely disrespectful. Isn't this the same guy who tapped out three fights ago?
He's a very good MMA fighter, give credit where it's due. It's kind of played out now. Just stop it. The con game is over. Go out there and worry about dominating the UFC because three fights ago he lost, he was quitting. You couldn't even mention the word quit with Floyd Mayweather. And, like I said, [McGregor] can't do anything without the UFC's approval. There's no way [WME-IMG] spent all that money so they can get their biggest star killed. It would never happen. If they want to get him killed put him in there in a boxing match.
According to MMA writer Adam Hill, McGregor's team have also applied for a licence in Nevada (and multiple other states). Before one is issued in Nevada, there is the matter of McGregor's $150,000 for throwing a bottle at a UFC 202 press conference. McGregor has also said previously that he does not want to fight in Las Vegas again.
Representatives for McGregor also filed for a boxing license in Nevada today, but nothing can happen with that until his fine is paid
— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) December 1, 2016
Conor McGregor not only received his boxing license in CA but he will be applying in more states as well. First reported by @arielhelwani
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) December 1, 2016
McGregor is still contracted to the UFC. Any fight outside of the octagon would likely require their consent.
There is a chance that McGregor is simply sending a message to the UFC - that he has other options. McGregor's agent said recently that involvement with WWE was an avenue to which they would be open, if the money is right.
Photo by Adam Hunger/Sportsfile