During the “Go Big” press conference in September 2015, Conor McGregor first introduced the “red panty night” concept. In essence, he claims that any fighter who agrees to take a fight against him would be guaranteed the biggest paycheck of their lives.
Nate Diaz did earn a disclosed $ 500,000 at UFC 196, and $ 2 million at UFC 202, marking the biggest payouts of his nine-year UFC career. But according to Donald Cerrone, fighting McGregor does not necessarily equate to big money.
During his recent appearance on the Opie With Jim podcast, “Cowboy” went on to explain the process of fighter pay, and how it goes in the UFC.
“So, a lot of people say if you get the Conor fight, that’s the money. Like, you hear people on the Internet, ‘That’s the money fight. He’s the money fight.’ It doesn’t work like that. I’m obligated under contract to make ‘X’ amount of dollars no matter who I fight. Unless you’re a champion, which Eddie is. Because when you’re a champion, you get the pay-per-view dollars.”
Cerrone adds that while he did want the Alvarez fight, he understands why the champion picked McGregor instead, and cash in on the pay-per-view revenue.
“If Eddie were to fight me, probably not as many pay-per-view dollars as bringing Conor in. So that’s smart fight for Eddie, 1000 percent not to pick me and to pick Conor. I understand that.”
“People are always telling me, ‘You need to take that Conor fight. That’s where the money is.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, it doesn’t work like that guys.’ I wish it did.”