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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather says he barely needed any training to beat Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather

Conor McGregor made fans think he had a legitimate chance to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. a few years back when he came out and took the first three rounds, but Floyd insists that was all part of his plan. Looking back on the 2017 bout, Mayweather makes it seem like it was a fairly easy win.

As Jack Fig of The Sun pointed out, Mayweather told Drink Champs earlier this year that he did not train all that hard in advance of his fight against McGregor. He insists he took the match seriously but said there were stretches where he would go a week without getting in the gym.

“For Conor McGregor, I didn’t really train,” Mayweather said. “All I did was do push-ups and sit-ups. That’s all I did. Push-ups and sit-ups, box a few times, hit the bag a few times.”

Mayweather’s conditioning was clearly superior to McGregor’s, which is why Floyd won by TKO in the 10th round. McGregor looked like he had barely anything left in the tank late in the fight.

Mayweather’s win over McGregor gave him a record of 50-0 for his career, and he said after the fight that he was retired. He has since teased a return on a few different occasions, but no official plans have been announced.

Conor McGregor again says he is retiring

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor said in a tweet sent on Saturday night that he was retiring. Again.

Here is the tweet from McGregor, who says he has decided to retire from fighting.

It’s awfully hard to take this seriously.

McGregor appeared to announce his retirement in 2016. Then in March 2019, he also said he was retired. His 2019 “retirement” announcement was viewed as a leverage ploy for negotiations with the UFC.

McGregor signed an 8-fight deal with the UFC in 2018 and has fought twice since then. He lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov and beat Donald Cerrone. It’s hard not to view this tweet as some sort of ulterior motive for McGregor.

Conor McGregor says he is willing to fight Anderson Silva

Conor McGregor

Anderson Silva took to social media this week to propose the idea of a fight with Conor McGregor, and McGregor is willing to make it happen.

Silva pitched the fight on Instagram late Wednesday night, saying he has great respect for McGregor and that he believes a bout between the two legends would be a historic event for the UFC. Nolan King of MMA Junkie shared a translation of the post from Google Translate.

“I have an immense admiration for the great athlete Conor and I believe that a super fight would be something historic for the sport, neither of us need to prove anything to anyone; I believe UFC and sport fans would like to see this great martial (arts) show, testing my martial skills with him would be fantastic!!” Silva wrote.

McGregor caught wind of the challenge and responded with a tweet on Thursday morning that said “I accept.”

McGregor is coming off a dominant TKO win against Cowboy Cerrone back in January, while Silva has won just one fight since 2013. A fight between McGregor and Silva would certainly generate buzz, but UFC president Dana White almost certainly would prefer that McGregor’s next fight be against someone like Khabib Nurmagomedov or Nate Diaz. It also goes without saying that McGregor would rather fight interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje if the opportunity arises.

All that said, McGregor recently shared his list of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. He placed Silva first and himself second, though he said he may be tied for No. 1.

Silva hasn’t fought since May 2019, when he couldn’t make it out of the first round with Jared Cannonier. McGregor seems to have set his sights on fighting again in the near future, and we doubt his next fight will be against Silva. If both fighters want it badly enough, perhaps they can convince White to make it work.

CJ Watson says Conor McGregor wearing his jersey was ‘stupid’

Conor McGregor

CJ Watson is offering some thoughts several years later on his unexpected inclusion in the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather beef.

During a Reddit AMA session this weekend, the former Golden State Warriors guard was asked what he thought about McGregor wearing his jersey in an effort to troll Mayweather before their megafight in 2017.

“Stupid because I had nothing to do with the situation,” Watson replied.

If you recall, McGregor was seen wearing Watson’s No. 23 jersey with the Warriors specifically because of Watson’s link to Josie Harris, the mother of Mayweather’s children (which you can read more about here). The episode also triggered a war of words between McGregor and Draymond Green, who currently wears No. 23 for the Warriors and thought that McGregor was wearing his jersey instead.

Watson, now 36 years old, spent ten seasons in the NBA and is now playing overseas in Turkey. Unfortunately, Watson may now be more known for his entanglement in the McGregor-Mayweather feud than for his actual NBA career, and he is clearly not too thrilled about it.

Manny Pacquiao signs with Conor McGregor’s manager – a hint of possible fight?

Manny Pacquiao

Could a crossover fight between Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor be in the works? That sure seems possible.

Paradigm Sports Management announced on Tuesday that Pacquiao has signed with them to solidify the final years of his boxing career.

“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer,” Pacquiao said in a statement. “One thing I want everyone to remember is to always think positively. Never think negatively; that is the beginning of your downfall. Everything is possible”.

Attar, who is the company’s president and CEO, shared the news on social media.

Paradigm represents several big-name MMA fighters such as McGregor, Israel Adesanya and Cris Cyborg. Attar is credited with helping set up McGregor’s big boxing fight against Floyd Mayweather two and a half years ago that generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys.

There has been speculation that Pacquiao could fight McGregor, and that Floyd Mayweather could face the winner if he wanted. Dana White has talked about doing things with Mayweather in 2020, possibly through White’s boxing promotion.

Pacquiao, 41, is 62-7-2 in his professional boxing career. He has won his last three fights in a row, including a July victory over Keith Thurman.

Stephen A. Smith responds in video to Joe Rogan’s criticism

Stephen A. Smith and Joe Rogan are at odds over the ESPN personality’s analysis of the main event at UFC 246 last weekend.

Smith, who is an MMA outsider and doesn’t often comment on the sport, provided commentary alongside Rogan and Michael Eaves on ESPN after Conor McGregor beat Cowboy Cerrone in the main event.

Smith was critical of Cerrone for lasting just 40 seconds and opined that the spotlight was too much for the veteran fighter. Smith also said that the quick win over Cerrone did not prove anything about whether or not McGregor was “back” after a long layoff.

Rogan, who has been an interviewer for the UFC since 1997 and is an accomplished mixed martial artist himself, took issue with Smith’s commentary. Rogan feels Smith was too harsh on Cerrone.

Here is what Rogan said on the “JRE MMA Show” podcast, as transcribed by MMA Junkie.

“For Conor to smash ‘Cowboy’ like that in front of his wife, his kid, his grandma and the whole world. You’ve got to have some respect for that man, and this sport demands a different perspective. It’s not the same thing as a ball going into a hoop. It’s not the same thing as crossing a line with a football. It’s different. It’s very intense and very personal, and it’s also very (expletive) dangerous and to play it off like it’s just a game, I don’t agree with it,” Rogan said.

Rogan also said the commentator’s shtick doesn’t belong in MMA

“That’s a bad look for everybody,” Rogan said. “It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for [Smith], it’s a bad look for the sport. There’s other people that can do this. … We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them. But the thing about him is he’s really popular. (He just got a contract extension) because his personality is so fun. He’s a fun guy to watch and people love (expletive)-talking and they love people arguing about (expletive) and one person is better at arguing. Stephen A. Smith is really good at that stuff. But it’s not the place for MMA. It’s just not the place. It’s not the same thing.”

You can read more of Rogan’s comments at MMA Junkie.

On Saturday, Smith responded with this video where he focused on and defended his take that McGregor did not prove anything.

McGregor got involved in the discussion and told Smith to apologize for not being more respectful of the way Cerrone lost.

Smith doesn’t know the intricacies of MMA, so hearing him talk is infuriating to the hardcore fans and knowledgeable commentators. But ESPN brings Smith on for his hot takes delivered in his entertaining style, and that’s exactly what he did. And now he’s created a beef out of it, which is why he’s paid the big bucks.

ESPN wants to help grow the sport, and having someone like Smith on to do his thing helps appeal to more people. But at the same time, if you’re going to do that, you have to work hard not to alienate your core fans who are the the heart of the business.

Here is the original video of the postfight analysis from Rogan and Smith.

Floyd Mayweather Jr touts second fight with Conor McGregor in Instagram post

Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather Jr. wasted no time inserting himself into the conversation after Conor McGregor’s win over Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Following McGregor’s 40-second TKO win, Mayweather went on Instagram and shared a photo of him and McGregor and said “Mayweather McGregor 2”.

Mayweather and McGregor fought in August 2017, with Mayweather prevailing via TKO in the 10th round. The fight marked McGregor’s first professional boxing match and generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, which was the second most ever in history. It was so lucrative the two could try to fight again for another massive pay day.

Mayweather has not fought since then, but the opportunity to make big bucks might appeal to him. He is already trying to sway UFC boss Dana White about a second fight.

White has long been interested in getting into boxing promoting, so the two of them working together could make sense. We should also expect Manny Pacquiao to get involved in some form as well.