It is the fight that people have been anticipating with baited breath. The biggest draw in the UFC, lightweight champion Conor McGregor, vs 49-0 boxing legend, Floyd Mayweather.
For the longest time, a fight between these two men was merely fantasy, spurred on by the constant trash talk between them and idle social media speculation. However, as time has gone on, it has evolved from fantasy to a cautious inevitability.
Dana White, owner of the UFC, himself offered Mayweather and McGregor $25 million each to make the fight happen, while also saying that he would build an entire card around the fight so as to give the paying customer their money’s worth.
However, Mayweather turned down the offer while calling White a “comedian” at the same time, and it is easy to see why. Mayweather’s last fight, against Andre Berto, earned Floyd a cool $32 million, according to Forbes. On top of that, Mayweather’s fight with Pacquiao raked in a whopping 5 million PPV buys, which is more than the 4.4 million buys from McGregor’s 3 headline bouts in 2016 combined.
Quite simply, the $25 million is nothing to Floyd and he was always going to reject it.
However, expect WME-IMG to chase this to the very end and make McGregor – Mayweather happen.
There are a few reasons why a fight between the 2 could, and probably should, happen. For starters, it would represent UFC’s biggest break into the mainstream in the company’s history. The two biggest draws in their respective fields, McGregor vs Mayweather would bring more attention to the UFC then previously seen.
On top of that, there is the sheer amount of money that could be made off of the fight. As Dana White has mentioned, any possible McGregor v Mayweather fight would have a card that would go along with it, including a title fight. This would be a great opportunity for UFC to craft a true super card which would surely smash the record for PPV buys.
Of course, the UFC would have to give close to $100 million Floyd to do it, and McGregor would be after the same, but the rewards in terms of gate receipts and PPV buys would be well worth it.
Now that is not to say there are no obstacles. Aside from the fact that the UFC would have to pay Mayweather a massive amount for him to fight, there is also the issue of how much the UFC would have to pay McGregor if he pulls off the improbable and beats Mayweather.
McGregor was already the UFC’s biggest star before Ronda Rousey lost to Amanda Nunes but, following Ronda’s loss, McGregor is priceless to the UFC, and he knows it. If he was to be paid even half of what Mayweather is paid for the fight, and then wins, McGregor’s self-value will rise massively, as will how much McGregor has to pay him in the future.
As for who would actually win, well that is pretty obvious. Mayweather would beat Conor McGregor. All respect to the Notorious One, who is an amazing MMA fighter, but Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers of all-time. After all, he is 49-0. Put him against McGregor in a boxing match, which this would 100% be, and Mayweather beats McGregor. He may not be the best boxer to watch, but he is the best.
Mayweather vs McGregor is a fight that both fighters want, and is what fans of both want. It would break any and all PPV records and would represent UFC’s break into the mainstream. As for a timeline, it is probably unlikely to take place in 2018 due to the amount of negotiating required. However, the financial benefits, as well as the exposure that it would represent, means that it is less of a fight that the UFC and WME-IMG could make happen, and more of a fight that the UFC and WME-IMG MUST make happen.