For as long as there exists a wide salary disparity between boxers and MMA fighters, there will always be that controversial discussion about fighter pay. And thanks to Conor McGregor, other UFC notables now want their own opportunity at a boxing crossover for a potentially massive payday.
Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has recently been the most vocal about making that transition. So much so that he’d already discussed a potential mixed rules fight with boxing heavyweight elite Tyson Fury.
Longtime MMA insider Ariel Helwani recently discussed this particular topic, saying that boxing “is the biggest pot of gold” for MMA fighters today. That caught the attention of now-retired ex-UFC fighter and bare-knuckle boxer Artem Lobov, who offered a contrary response.
Also has to be noted that boxing is terrible at building stars, its up to individual to do it, UFC is the best at it and when a sport/promotion has no stars and wants to use someone elses stars, they have to pay a premium. Other issue u are hinting at is also at play of course
— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) January 7, 2022
Dana White has long touted the strength of the UFC brand, as he did again in a September interview with Travis Browne:
“It works both ways. ‘Cause what happens is, when somebody comes in and they start working their way up in the UFC, the brand builds them up and turns them into stars.
“Then once you have the brand plus Chuck Liddell, the brand plus Matt Hughes, the brand plus Ronda Rousey, the brand plus Conor McGregor… it’s powerful for everybody. It’s a very incredible relationship when you have both, the brand plus the star.”
Lobov himself did become sort of a celebrated figure among fans, largely because of his association with McGregor. And despite having a below-average record (13-15-1, 1 NC), he got to headline a Fight Night event in 2017 against Cub Swanson.
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