UFC star Conor McGregor has failed in his bid to be sanctioned to box in Las Vegas by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The 28 year-old was granted a license to box in California this week but wanted to be able to compete in the boxing capital of the world, which has been denied due to an outstanding fine payment.
McGregor owes the NSAC $75,000 after a bottle-throwing fracas with MMA rival Nate Diaz earlier this year, which was laid down with the stipulation that the Irishman also participates in an anti-bullying video.
“Mr. McGregor is an incredibly gifted fighter and athlete,” NSAC executive director Bob Bennet told the Las Vegas Review-Journal whilst pointing out that paying the fine does not grant the MMA fighter an instant shot at being a boxer in the State.
“He obviously knows what he’s doing as a fighter and I have the utmost respect for his abilities. But it is a different sport,” added Bennett.
McGregor is hoping to switch codes as early as 2017 and has targeted Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a cross-codes super-fight, potentially by September next year at the new T-Mobile Arena.
Mayweather has so far been unreceptive to the idea – publicly – but may be biding his time to see how McGregor fares in a warm-up contest before committing to a multi-million-pound deal.