Since his rise to the top of the mixed martial arts mountain, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has been sparring verbally with retired boxing superstar and promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And while the two have been in a war of words for the last several months, this fight is a long way from happening – even though McGregor acquired his boxing license in California.
The momentum for this fantasy fight picked up a little bit this past week after Mayweather went on ESPN’s First Take and revealed he offered McGregor $15 million as well as a cut for the pay per view buys. This was in response to McGregor’s demand of $100 million.
Not to be outdone, UFC President Dana White went on “The Herd” and offered McGregor and McGregor both $25 million and a cut of the pay per view. In a clip from TMZ, Mayweather responded laughing at the offer and calling White “a comedian.”
I’ll get the sport’s fan/armchair conerman perspective out of the way. If it’s a boxing match, Mayweather clearly has the edge over McGregor and it’s the other way around if the contest is under MMA rules. That said, anything can happen in sports. McGregor is a good puncher and could land a shot that sends Mayweather to the canvas. Likewise, the undefeated boxing king could have some MMA moves that we haven’t seen.
The back-and-forth between McGregor and Mayweather has been intriguing, and while the build up for this fight would be fantastic, I don’t have high hopes this match will happen any time soon.
One of the biggest hurdles that kept this fight from happening was McGregor’s UFC contract status and I was surprised to see White step up and make any kind of offer because the organization does not allow their athletes to compete in high-risk sports. However, with WME-IMG purchasing the company and McGregor being their big star, I could see the UFC being more open to this fight.
As far as money goes, Mayweather doesn’t need that , but he loves making it. If the right offer came along, he’d probably take the purse.
However, the question is who will promote this fight? Will it UFC (Insert number here): McGregor vs. Mayweather? – because the promotion would not put Mayweather’s name first. Will it be Mayweather Promotions presents: “Mayweather vs. McGregor” that headlines the banner?
The UFC has not played well when it came to promoting with other organizations. One of the reasons why legend Fedor Emelianenko couldn’t reach a contract with the UFC was because his company, M-1 Global, couldn’t reach an promotional agreement. Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company from 2001-2016 did co-promote events with WEC and Strikeforce – including an event with M-1 Global for the Emelianenko and Dan Henderson fight – but those events were under its own banner.
White said his company would build a card around the McGregor-Mayweather super fight, including a UFC championship bout as the co-feature. Would all of the fights except for the main event be under MMA rules or will the card be a mix of fights? Bellator MMA has hosted a couple of MMA/kickboxing cards with Glory.
And besides, Mayweather is busy with being a promoter and McGregor is an active UFC champion who is taking some time off. It’s not likely we’ll see them actually fight any time soon, no matter how good of a fight it could be.
But then again, that’s what many fans said about Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao – and look at how that turned out.