Conor McGregor. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
The Irish fighter is currently in rehabilitation for the broken leg that he suffered back in July, and claimed recently that he is weighing in at around 190lbs - a figure that would put him considerably closer to Paul’s natural weight than he was prior to his injury.
The 26-year-old has called out McGregor on a number of occasions in the past, and would be looking to generate the same kind of interest - and profit - that his high-profile bout with Floyd Mayweather created back in June.
Various reports at the time suggested that the exhibition match, which ended without a definitive winner being announced, sold around 1,000,000 pay-per-views.
And Hardy has suggested that McGregor could be tempted into agreeing to participate in a similar contest in the future.
What did Hardy say?
“You’ve got two guys that have got their own audience, and an audience that is massive as well in their own right.
“The only thing for me would be the [physical] size difference, that’s the only thing that would affect the saleability of the fight, but then with Conor having such a big personality and him looking like the ‘Hulk’ at the moment, I think it’s definitely something that’s saleable.
“The only issue for McGregor or any other UFC fighter is getting the organisation’s blessing to compete in boxing, and that is not always easy.
“That’s because the UFC very much feel like they’ve got ownership over the value of that person’s brand.
“McGregor is a great example – he probably wouldn’t have been the same brand had he not come through the UFC. I think people are more interested in the individuals in the fight than what they are actually fighting for.
“If Jake Paul fought Conor McGregor, more people would watch that than the UFC heavyweight title.”
When would the fight take place?
At the moment, the simple fact of the matter is that there is no fight to speak of.
No agreement has been made between McGregor and Paul’s respective camps, and the former’s coach, John Kavanagh, has made it clear that there are no talks currently underway.
Speaking recently, he said: “I heard something about Jake Paul being managed by an ex-UFC CFO [Chief Financial Officer].
“And I guess it’s interesting to hear some of the negotiation tactics by that big organisation being leaked through Jake Paul, so it’s kind of fun to follow that.
“But as for Conor vs Jake, I’ve honestly never once heard that, and I’ve heard some very crazy things, but that’s never been suggested.”
Certainly, McGregor looks to have other priorities to focus on in the more immediate future as well.
According to the 33-year-old’s training partner, Peter Queally, he is set to fight Charles Oliveira upon his return from injury for the UFC lightweight title.
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