When Conor McGregor became the UFC’s first ever double-weight champion last year, attention quickly shifted to a new, blank page in the history books. Will the combat world finally see the “Notorious” go toe-to-toe with Floyd “Money” Mayweather, the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all-time?
The answer would be yes, and as the entire world now knows, the two fighters will face off on Saturday, August 26th in Vegas.
As devastating as each fighter can be in the ring and octagon, respectively, they can be equally as impressive in their smack-talk.
There will always be a dispute when comparisons are drawn between the two, but one similarity neither can step away from is their ability to get inside the head of their opponent.
Given this, back in November, we compiled the best quotes surrounding what will be the most watched, most anticipated and most valuable bout in the history of combat sport.
Here’s what Mayweather had to say:
“That’s something I didn’t know, so I guess you guys are telling me something new. If you say he’s the Floyd Mayweather of the MMA, I’m trying to find out. Have you ever made $300 million in one night? Have you ever made $100 million in one night? Have you ever made $70 million in one night?”
“I’m a legend, a living legend. I gave to the sport of boxing years and years of hard work. It was blood, sweat and tears, I had a tremendous team, a tremendous run. I think it’s time for Conor McGregor to do what he do, but never compare Conor McGregor to me, that’s total disrespect. I’m an elephant and elephants don’t beef with ants. Elephant is so large he don’t even see ants.”
As expected, Conor McGregor spoke with an equal measure of self-confidence:
“Floyd’s not ready for this. Much respect to Floyd. He’s a solid businessman, but as far as real fighting – true, pure unarmed combat – Floyd don’t want none of this. He does not want none of this. He wants it under boxing rules. He wants a boxing match. He doesn’t want a fight.”
“Give Floyd a shout; tell him I’m coming. Tell him to run around Showtime offices. I want $100 million to fight him under boxing rules because he’s afraid of a real fight.”
You cannot fault what McGregor has achieved in his UFC career to date. His rise to success is a much more detailed story than his 9-1 record suggests.
His ambition is bigger than anyone could ever imagine. He fights at multiple weights, he wins belts at multiple weights, and if that wasn’t ambitious enough, he wants a major equity share in the organisation that have given him a platform to build his career upon.
Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor epitomises hard-work, dedication and ambition. He has shelved the “underdog” and “participation” attitude so often associated with Irish sport and made his own successes.
That being said, Floyd Mayweather is untouchable, and has been his entire career.
One point regarding Mayweather, which doesn’t get half enough coverage in our opinion, is his ability to evade punches. In modern sport, so much time is given to head injuries, concussion, and the long-term mental deterioration of athletes.
A 2012 study by statistical firm, CompuBox, showed that 46% of Mayweather’s punches, throughout his then 42-fight professional career, landed. While only 16% of his opponents’ punches over that same time frame connected successfully. This gives Mayweather a +30% punch ratio.
Mayweather’s inability to get hit is perhaps the greatest skill in his armoury at 39 years of age. His ability to do so against McGregor could somewhat numb the Irish man’s infamous left-hand.
However, were the clash an all-out fight, rather than the box-only bout Mayweather has hinted towards, it’s very hard to look past McGregor. Time and time again the Dubliner’s ability has been questioned, whether that be at a particular weight or in a certain style.
Yet, McGregor never ceases to amaze the masses and silence his critics. He is not in his current position by fortune of any kind, but through persistence and skill. His all-round talent would set up a tasty encounter between the two distinguished champions.
We’ll give UFC boss, Dana White the final words on this historic bout:
“Conor McGregor, if he touches you, you go to sleep. Floyd puts people to sleep too, with his fighting style, not with his hands. Floyd can say what he wants about Conor, but even other fighters have to respect him. He’s special. Floyd’s never even come close to doing to other fighters what Conor does.”
White has poured cold water on McGregor v Mayweather rumours in the past. However, talk continues to rumble on when it comes to this potential bout.
Will we see one of the greatest spectacles in sporting history at some point in the near future?
We certainly hope so.
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