The Conor McGregor hype train went off the rails earlier this year at UFC 196, when lightweight Nate Diaz handed the Irishman his first UFC loss.
Yet, there is one man who thinks Conor may be able to get himself back on track: boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.
“Sometimes you go up in weight and find out, ‘Whoa… no wonder this guy’s different!’ So now that he [Conor] has been in there, he understands a little bit more about what he’s up against. So his chances are much better in phase two than they were in phase one.”
Still, Jones was unsure of who would come out on top if McGregor and Diaz met for a rematch.
“I have no clue, but I can’t wait to see it,” the fast-talking Jones told the reporter. “He [Conor] is the type of guy who I think could be, but I can’t wait to see it. He’s a warrior. He’s a real winner. But he’s fighting a tough guy and either one of the Diaz brothers, Nate or Nick, these guys are no easy fight, so I look forward to a wonderful night and both guys could win it.”
Jones also told the reporter that he was not rooting for anyone in the match.
“I love both of them because they’re fighters and they’ll fight anybody. So, I love that. So may the best man win.”
Conor McGregor was originally slated to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200, scheduled on July 4. Conor, however, was pulled from the card after refusing to promote the match and making a strange tweet about retiring early. Diaz would later walk out on the match, saying that if he could not fight Conor, he was going on vacation. The main event was eventually replaced by a light heavyweight championship rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
The possibility of seeing a rematch between Diaz and McGregor is still up in the air, but if it does happen, Jones suggested Conor be smart about it.
“Be smart. Find a good guy, as far as boxing is concerned, that can teach you how to deal with a boxer, and come back at it.”
It appears McGregor heeded Jones’ advice in advance, as video footage has surfaced of him sparring with IBO boxing champion Chris van Heerden.
Conor may also be sharpening up his boxing skills for a rumored match against legendary pugilist, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. With reports that Mayweather offered McGregor $50 million for a fight and words from Mayweather’s own father that he was planning on going toe-to-toe with an MMA fighter, Conor may very well be preparing for one of the biggest matches in his career.
MMA Vs Boxing. pic.twitter.com/qgl8tKvT5s
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 8, 2016
Interestingly enough, Roy Jones Jr. has also flirted with the idea of getting in the ring with an MMA fighter. Just 3 years ago, Jones expressed interest in fighting then-middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, under boxing rules. Though White hinted that he might be willing to let the match happen, Jones later commented that the UFC would not let Silva fight outside the octagon.
With all of the money that Conor made for the UFC back in 2015, it is unlikely the brass of the world’s biggest mixed martial arts organization would let him get hurt in a place where they would not make any money. White has done much to shoot down many of the rumors about Conor and Mayweather trading leather in the boxing ring.
Conor McGregor may also want to focus on his MMA career. After all, not only is the possibility of a rematch between him and Diaz still looming, but he might want to actually defend that featherweight title of his.
[Photo by Rey del Rio/Getty Images]