McGregor v. Mayweather – A Fight That Can Only Take Place in a Courtroom…or with UFC Consent

Update – Rumors of this bout still carry on with some  suggesting that McGregor can get out of his UFC contract by seeking protection of the Ali Act.

This is a clever argument but one which likely can not succeed.

If McGregor was to become a licenced professional boxer it is true he can go to Court and ask to have his Zuffa contract struck down as “coercive” under the Ali Act.  The problem, however, lies in the limitations of the Ali Act itself.

The Ali Act does not allow ‘coercive’ contracts between professional boxers and promoters.  Some standard Zuffa contract terms, if applied to professional boxing, would be considered coercive under the act.

While McGregor can make himself a professional ‘boxer’ he cannot make the UFC a professional boxing promoter.  To have the benefit of the ‘coercive contract’ provisions a Court would need to conclude that the UFC is a “promoter” as defined by the Act which means they are the entity “primarily responsible for organizing, promoting, and producing a professional boxing match“.  It is doubtful a court would reach this conclusion particularly since Zuffa contracts expressly set out that they are in the business of promoting “mixed martial arts” competitions and their promotional obligations are limited to “mixed martial arts contest(s)“.

Realistically the only way McGregor v. Mayweather happens is if the UFC clears the path.


After a tabloid suggested UFC fighter Conor McGregor and presently retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr are in negotiations to promote a boxing match rumors of the bout continue to swirl.

McGregor, who is still under contract with UFC owner Zuffa, is likely unable to legally fight Mayweather without Zuffa consent.  Doing so would breach standard Zuffa contract terms and entitle them not only to injunctive relief but also a lawsuit for damages.  Considering that the current spat between the two is fueled by a display of power don’t hold your breath for Zuffa consent to be forthcoming unless there’s something substantial in it for them.

A few points worth keeping in mind.  The bad blood between McGregor and the UFC started when he was pulled from UFC 200 for failing to attend a press conference.  While its unfortunate this problem could not be resolved Zuffa are within their contractual rights for pulling McGregor as their standard contract language require fighters to cooperate with their promotional efforts –

Zuffa Press Conference Clause

Zuffa contracts also prevent fighters from competing in other combat sports while under contract with the following language –

Zuffa no boxing clause

Laslty, the contract continues should McGregor suggest he is ‘retired’ from MMA with the following freezing provision

Zuffa retirment clause

Mayweather v. McGregor is a fight that will not happen in the ring, it would first take place in the Courtroom in Zuffa’s backyard in Las Vegas with a requirement that the contract be interpreted and enforced under Nevada law –

Zuffa choice of law 1

Zuffa choice of law 2



2 thoughts on “McGregor v. Mayweather – A Fight That Can Only Take Place in a Courtroom…or with UFC Consent

  1. What if they had the fight in Ireland? How would that effect Zuffa’s possible legal victories, with that jurisdiction issue?

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