The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor
Well it looks like the fight is actually going to happen. Barring a last minute injury or some other craziness one of the best boxers in the history of the sport is going to step into the ring with Mixed Martial Arts’ biggest star in an attempt to reach 50-0. Six months ago I would’ve told you there was no chance a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was actually going to happen. Despite how long the two had been going after each other and the media was hyping it up it just seemed like a ploy for Conor to get his name out there and help him sell MMA pay-per-views. For Floyd, of course he would take the fight. The best defensive boxer of all time who ran circles around Manny Pacquiao in the biggest event in combat sports history, a guy who loves money, and he only has to face a guy who has never had a professional fight in the sport of boxing to get the biggest pay day of his life? Thats a slam dunk. But why would McGregor put himself in this situation?
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Coming off of a historic event at UFC 205 where he became the first ever fighter to hold two championship belts in two different weight classes simultaneously, doing it at Madison Square Garden in the first MMA event in New York since the sport was legalized in the state. He had the UFC in a position where he could pretty much do whatever he wanted. They’d never had a draw this big who to this point stayed active, fighting two or three times a year. The prospect of a third fight with Nate Diaz, this time for the lightweight championship, was right there after the first two fights in the potential trilogy were already top five earners when it comes to pay-per-view buy rate. But Conor is ‘Notorious’ for always aiming for bigger and better things. He entered the UFC as a two division champ in a lesser organization called Cage Warriors and immediately turned his sights on the featherweight title despite it being held by one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport. It only took two and a half years for him to accomplish his goal, running through six opponents before knocking Aldo out in 13 seconds.
Despite reaching what many fighters would consider the pinnacle and focusing on keeping and defending that belt for as long as possible, McGregor was immediately scheduled to fight Rafael Dos Anjos for the lightweight title less than three months later. That fight fell through because of a foot injury to RDA and we know what happened from there. Diaz stepped in on short notice, the fight was moved to welterweight (25 pounds higher than the weight class Conor won the belt in), and Nate submitted him in the second round. There were no excuses made and right away Conor wanted a rematch. The next fight was only five months later but he managed to make the right adjustments and fight through the point where he got choked out the first time to win a decision in one of the best fights in the sports history. Three months after that he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in what looked like a mismatch. Following the fight he made mention of Floyd but really he was focused on working with the UFC as partners to get a bigger piece of the pie when he fights.
When August 26th hits he’ll have more than that. The UFC brand is nowhere to be seen on any of the promotional materials. But there is a new brand all over it, McGregor Promotions. The man has risen so high in the fight game so fast. Its unprecedented. And yet he’ll be making at least one third of the purse ‘Money’ Mayweather is going to be bringing home, if not a quarter of it. For as quickly as McGregor has come about, Floyd has been doing this for over 20 years. He’s slowly built up his resume and his earning power over that time beating the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Arturo Gatti, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marcos Maidana (twice), Pacquiao, and of course 40 others. It looks like everyone is predicting this bout to shatter the PPV record set a little over two years ago. And with that, in one night McGregor should walk away with over $100 million and Mayweather with close to $400 million. Despite highs and lows along the way (the world tour press conferences being both) it seems like nothing is going to slow this hype train down. Except maybe the actual fight itself.
If you ask me whats going to happen on Saturday night once these two larger than life figures clash inside the ring I’d feel very confident in saying Floyd Mayweather is going to dance around to a boring but very convincing unanimous decision and if he feels like putting on a show he could get a late stoppage once Conor McGregor exhausts himself. Just watch the training videos and you can see the difference in speed and Floyd is known for being content to win each round by one punch. But there is a confidence to Conor that has led to a ‘Mystic Mac’ nickname. He’s had a knack for defying expectations and calling his shot repeatedly. Chad Mendes was supposed to a wrestler the likes of which he’d never faced, Jose Aldo was the legendary striker, Nate Diaz had his number, Eddie Alvarez was too experienced. He’s a rare breed who combines supreme confidence with extremely hard work. No matter how confident I am that Floyd is just going to dominate him there is always the 1% chance that Conor could bring something unforeseen to the table and knock him out. He’s very good at convincing you hes going to do exactly what he says hes going to do. It won’t be long now to see if he can back it up once more.