Rumors are abound that current Ultimate Fighting Championship Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor is close to signing a deal to fight recently retired boxing champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather in a boxing bout. This news was reported by British newspaper The Sun. The Mayweather-McGregor feud dates back to January of this year when Mayweather went on a rant about the racial double standard involving trash-talk, braggadocio, and promotion specifically mentioning McGregor by name despite admitting that he only knows very little about the newly crowned UFC champion.
Now before we all get amped up, let us not forget that McGregor (19-3) is signed to an exclusive fight contract with the UFC and no fighter in UFC history has been permitted to fight in competing organizations. Despite what UFC President Dana White says, boxing is still competition to the UFC. Some fighters, including former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, have expressed interest in working in the squared circle that is pro wrestling. She specifically wanted to work for WWE and has been shot down by White.
The way White tells it, McGregor refused to leave his training camp in Iceland to come to New York to promote the fight. It was originally scheduled for July 4 weekend, one of the most popular dates for the UFC and quite possibly the highest selling pay-per-view event in UFC history since UFC 100, with a reported earning potential of $100 million in PPV buys.
That total was mainly due to McGregor’s braggadocious nature and keen ability to promote a fight with his brand of trash talk. McGregor stated that he is paid to fight, not paid to promote. Surely, Conor recognizes that promotion and made-up hype help to line his wallet with more money.
Dana White [Photo Brad Barket/Getty Images]
McGregor is quite possibly UFC’s highest grossing fighter. His rumored per fight earning potential is upwards of $10 million. He is certainly seeing even bigger dollar signs with a potential fight with “Money” Mayweather, who recently retired in 2015 after a winning record of 49 wins and no losses, with half of those wins coming by way of knockout. Mayweather is 39 years old, generally an age where fighters are past their prime. McGregor is just 27 years old and just hitting his stride.
McGregor, with 19 victories and 17 by way of KO or TKO, was on a 15 fight win streak until he succumbed to a rear naked choke submission by Diaz in a catchweight fight of 170 lbs, 20 pounds above McGregor’s normal fighting weight of 145 pounds. McGregor’s star has been on the rise since signing with the UFC in 2013, but his fame skyrocketed when he starched former Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to claim the featherweight crown. All of McGregor’s losses have been a result of submissions, clearly his Achilles heel.
In the end, this is all speculation and hype. Dana White is denying the fight is in the works, and he has the finances and attorneys on speed dial to squash McGregor’s pugilistic fantasies. However, if this were to happen, then the sports world would go crazy. All sorts of financial records could be broken because of it. The history books would add a couple more pages.
[Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]