Just when you thought (or hoped) that the whole MMA vs. boxing thing would forever be yesterday’s news – never to be talked about again – Conor McGregor (pictured) had to go and become the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two different titles.
Now, boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s name is once again being tossed around as a potential future opponent for McGregor, the biggest star in UFC history. It certainly helps that McGregor and Mayweather don’t seem to really care for each other, while UFC president Dana White stands off in the corner instigating the possible crossover superfight.
It all started Monday when Mayweather was asked if he watched McGregor demolish Eddie Alvarez Saturday at UFC 205 to capture his second UFC belt. Mayweather claimed he didn’t even know McGregor was fighting, despite the fact McGregor’s face has been plastered all over Times Square for the past two weeks.
What really irked Mayweather was when TMZ dared to liken McGregor as MMA’s Floyd Mayweather.
“Never compare Conor McGregor to me,” Mayweather barked at TMZ’s cameraman. “That’s a total disrespect. I mean, I’m a elephant. Elephants don’t beef with ants. An elephant is so large, he don’t even see ants.”
McGregor didn’t take kindly to the elephant vs. ant analogy and dared Mayweather to “say it to my face.”
McGregor bumped the beef up another notch Tuesday night when he was the guest of honor at 1 OAK in NYC. “Notorious” grabbed the mic and agreed to face Mayweather in a boxing match … for a cool $100 million.
“Floyd’s not ready for this,” McGregor said. “Much respect to Floyd, he’s a solid businessman. What he has been able to do, he’s a [expletive] animal at what he’s been able to do but as far as real fighting, as far as true, pure unarmed combat — Floyd don’t want none of this.
“He wants it under boxing rules. He wants a boxing match. He doesn’t want a fight. Tell Floyd and Showtime, I’m coming. Tell him to go to them Showtime offices. I want $100 million cash to fight you under boxing rules cause he’s afraid of a real fight.”
And White, who in the past said it would be a terrible idea for a mixed martial artist to strictly fight a professional boxer in boxing, now thinks his golden boy would school Mayweather at his own game.
“Conor McGregor … if he touches you, you go to sleep. Floyd puts people to sleep too, with his fighting style, not with his hands,” White told TMZ. “You know how Floyd knocks people out? When they’re not looking. Watch the Victor Ortiz fight.
“[McGregor’s] just getting started. This kid’s 28 years old. Floyd can say what he wants about Conor, but even other fighters have to respect him. He’s special. Floyd’s never even come close to doing to other fighters what Conor does.”
There would be plenty of red tape involved if this fantasy fight were to ever come to fruition, first and foremost Mayweather would have to come out of retirement. Then the UFC and Showtime would have to agree on how the pie would be split, how much guaranteed money each fighter would receive, etc.
Before the UFC was sold to a group led by talent agency giant WME-IMG for a whopping $4.2 billion in July, I would have said there was no way this blockbuster bout would ever happen. However, WME-IMG’s roots are in the entertainment industry. This would also be a quick way to recoup some of their money back.
So, never say never.