More than a year has passed since UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor last fought in the Octagon. After defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, “The Notorious” took an indefinite leave and scheduled a superfight against undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. When he lost to Mayweather, MMA fans expect McGregor to return to the UFC and make his first title defense.
However, it seems like McGregor’s UFC return will be moved to a later date after another legend challenged him in a “real boxing match.” Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao recently created noise on social media after giving hints on his potential fight against Conor McGregor in 2018. In an Instagram post, Pacquiao wished McGregor happy Thanksgiving with the hashtags #realboxingmatch and #2018.
After his controversial defeat to Jeff Horn last July, most people believe Manny Pacquiao will permanently end his boxing career to focus on his duties as a senator in the Philippines. However, the Filipino boxing icon revealed that he will continue to fight until the passion is gone. Pacquiao has long been interested in fighting Conor McGregor.
While McGregor and Mayweather were having negotiations, Pacquiao has been active on social media, giving his opinion on the superfight. He also expressed his willingness to be McGregor’s opponent if ever Mayweather pulled out from the fight. After the match, Pacquiao congratulated both fighters for their impressive performance.
The potential match between Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor will undeniably be better than MayMac superfight. Pacquiao and McGregor are both aggressive fighters who possess incredible striking force. It’s highly likely that the fight will end with one of them lying on the ground.
As of now, it remains unknown if there is an ongoing negotiation between McGregor and Pacquiao. “The Notorious” is expected to make his first title defense early next year with interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson as his possible opponent. Knowing McGregor, the idea of having another huge payday may convince him to postpone his return in the UFC.
However, UFC president Dana White will surely not let McGregor decide on his own and ruin the lightweight division. If he will insist on fighting Pacquiao instead of defending his title, the UFC could take away another belt from him. The promotion already did it once, and it will not be a surprise if McGregor becomes the champion who never defends his title.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]