There have been rumors of a possible super fight brewing, between Floyd (Money) Mayweather and MMA star Connor McGregor, in the past month. Fans have been speculating for a number of weeks about a possible super fight, but will it ever happen?
Connor McGregor recently cancelled an event to fly out to Vegas, this shook up the whole Boxing and MMA scenes, with a deal between the two parties possibly nearing. However this wasn’t the case as Mayweather put out a statement stating he is “happily retired”. Connor Mcgrgeor responded to Floyd’s statement in kind and the pair have been trading insults ever since.
This has reminiscence of the Mayweather vs Pacquiao situation. The fight between the two boxing stars was talked about for years, as early as 2009, with each party blaming the other for various different reasons. The bout was finally announced and the fight took place on May 5th 2015. It was something of an anti-climax, the build-up lasted for almost 6 years, and there was just too much anticipation for something that really didn’t live up to the hype. After the fight Manny Pacquiao cited an injury, which caused him not to compete to his highest level, he has been lobbying for a rematch with the pound for pound number one boxing star ever since.
There are many similar obstacles Connor Mcgregor faces if he ever wants to compete in a boxing ring. The president of the UFC Dana White insists that he would need to be involved for this fight to materialise, Mcgregor according to unofficial reports has a minimum of 5 fights left on his UFC contract, which ties him to the UFC for at least two years. He has stated that he would be able to manoeuvre his way out of his UFC contract, using the “Ali Act”, however I’m sure Dana White should have something to say about that. Should Mcgregor be successful doing this, it would be the first of its kind, this would not be as strange as it seems as the MMA star is the first UFC double champion in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. Floyd has previously offered McGregor $2.5million dollars to fight, however McGregor believes this is a billion dollar fight and has demanded a minimum $100million purse. This is a substantial amount of money, one that Floyd is no stranger too, having took home the same amount for the Pacquiao fight.
Much has also been made on whether McGregor could transition himself into a boxing star with the rules as well as the change of format. The MMA star regularly spars in a boxing ring when he is preparing for a fight in the octagon, many believe that Floyd will be too clever for him, inside the squared circle. However McGregor poses a threat that no other man, who has shared the ring with Floyd, which could threaten his undefeated record. Connor has shown that he is can adapt his style in adversity and possesses knockout power in both hands. He has also got great footwork and combination punches, as well as the ability to punch you from different angles, Floyd has shown some weaknesses in his previous fights which McGregor thinks he will be able to exploit.
Another factor is age, McGregor is in the prime of his career at 28, whilst Floyd is 39 years of age. He recently tipped the scales at 160lbs which is the heaviest he has ever been, seemingly enjoying the fruits of his labour, which is another reason why he may not be looking forward to getting back into the ring. Connor has been active in the UFC for the last 3 years with a minimum of two fights per year, whilst Floyd has been sitting on the sidelines retired. To get back into a training regime after the layoff may prove to be too much for Floyd as he will be entering new territory, the weight cut would be a factor, as well as getting his back team together for the fight camp.
With all this taken into account, Is Connor McGregor a threat to Floyd’s unbeaten record and will this fight happen?
Whether Floyd likes it or not, Connor Mcgregor hold all the cards to this fight, he has proven himself as a box office star with record pay per view figures as well as highest gate and attendance records. Money talks in this situation and the only fight which brings in the most revenue is the Mcgregor fight. The opportunity to bring the MMA and Boxing scenes together is a marketing dream, this would defiantly surpass the Pacquiao fight, as well as break viewing records and pay per view numbers. The attention this fight has already generated would make great business sense and theoretically get this fight finally signed by both parties.
However boxing is a strange sport where we don’t always see the fight the fans crave, unlike the UFC, where there are limited number of belts and the best have to fight the best. There are also too many external factors in boxing, which hinder negotiations, the finer details can make or break fights getting made. Floyd & Connor are notoriously demanding, they have very similar minds in terms of promoting a fight, this would defiantly be a hurdle to overcome. Who would be the A side and the B side?
The last two Floyd Mayweather fights on Showtime PPV, have arguably been the worst of his career, the critics have viewed them as masterful performances but the fans were not impressed with the victories. The wins against Pacquiao and Andre Berto were 12 round fights with very little excitement involved, with Floyd using his boxing IQ, only engaging when he needed or wanted too. The Berto fight was viewed as an exhibition, as he really had no business being in the ring with Floyd that, he was outclassed in every department and rarely made any impression on the fight.
On the other hand McGregor’s last two performances are arguably the reason why he has such a huge following and why he is the UFC’s biggest star to date. Following the defeat to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor bounced back with a win at UFC 202, a rematch with Diaz in Vegas and then he went on to headline UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. This was first UFC card since MMA was finally legalised in New York and McGregor successfully challenged for the UFC lightweight belt against Eddie Alvarez, becoming the promotions first fighter to hold belts in different weight classes.
UFC 205 was the promotions biggest event to date with a host of other fighters involved on the cards such as fan favourites Frankie Edgar, Chris Weidman and Steven “Wonderboy” Thompson. The event also broke attendance records at the Garden as well as breaking the record for highest gate, and attracted many different celebrities to show. McGregor announced he would be taking a break from the sport due to the birth of his first child, the promotions past couple of events have been questionable, which have left some fans angered including Dana White at the decisions as well as the quality of fights. There have been rumours that McGregor may return to the octagon at the end of the year, should the fight with Floyd fall through, in which he will have no other option but to defend or give up his belt.
Connor defiantly is the biggest star in all combat sports at this moment in time, however a fight with Floyd has a sell by date, and it’s now or never. A year from now the fight would not make sense, the difference would be Connor would be able to go back and compete in the UFC, whilst Floyd would be sat wondering what if? McGregor has the advantage in the speed and power department but lacks the boxing IQ knowledge and experience of Floyd. However McGregor is able to take punishment and come back from adversity, as shown in his bouts with Nate Diaz, Floyd does not possess the power to discourage McGregor for 12 rounds so the fight would be interesting to see how it plays out.
We will just have to wait and see what happens, the fight is not close as some may think, but never say never. Connor has nothing to lose other than his UFC belt by perusing a fight with Mayweather, however I’m sure the UFC would welcome him back with open arms, should he try to defect. There are many proposed fights in the UFC for McGregor so I’m sure he will make an announcement soon in regards to his future.