There has been a ton of talk surrounding a potential MMA vs. boxing fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr., but the last man who beat McGregor in the octagon does not believe the Irishman would present Mayweather with the biggest challenge the UFC could offer.
Early Wednesday morning, Nate Diaz tweeted that he believes he is the only MMA fighter who could beat Mayweather in a boxing match.
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) June 1, 2016
As you can see, Diaz included a video that features boxer Andre Ward talking about sparring against Nate and his brother Nick. Ward said Nate “throws punches from all different angles” and could definitely hold his own in a pure stand-up boxing match.
Diaz defeated McGregor back in March with a rear-naked choke in the second round. Even if Diaz would be a more worthy opponent for Mayweather, we all know any potential Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would be all about ratings. As long as McGregor keeps giving interviews like this, he will always be one of the biggest draws in the UFC.
That BJ Penn’s potential comeback fight is being scuttled should not come as a surprise. The guy is 37, hadn’t fought since 2014, and has been under investigation for alleged sexual assault. There was a lot going against him. But the reason for Penn’s comeback fight being put on hold is quite interesting.
Penn is under suspension by USADA — the US Anti-Doping Agency, which the UFC partnered with to oversee drug testing — for a potential violation. Not an actual violation, mind you, but a potential violation.
Penn was flagged for using too much fluid in an IV during an out-of-competition sample on March 25.
From the UFC’s website:
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method – the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period – during a March 25, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection. In accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Penn has received a provisional suspension, and has been removed from his scheduled bout against Cole Miller on June 4 in Los Angeles.
“UFC will announce a replacement opponent for Miller shortly, and additional information will be provided by USADA and UFC at the appropriate time as the process involving Penn moves forward.”
The provisional suspension has many in the MMA community up in arms complaining. Many are wondering how USADA has the power to suspend someone for just using too much of an IV but not actually testing positive. The answer is USADA does not allow excess IV fluid because they believe fighters use it to mask PED use. This type of reasoning may make sense but it is certainly murky in a country where the foundation of our legal system is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Penn accepting the provisional suspension and having his fight called off, however, leads me to wonder if there is more to this story. Did the UFC just not want to deal with a scandal if Penn were later proven to have tested positive for a banned substance following the fight? Or between this and the charge that he committed sexual assault the UFC just decided it had had enough? Who knows, but this also says something more about the UFC.
The UFC bringing in USADA to clean up the sport or at least the public image of it, plus pulling the plug on the Penn fight altogether, shows how conservative this previously reckless company has become. And if that’s not all to present a more attractive company to potential buyers (think staging a home while listing it for sale), then I don’t know what is going on.
- BJ Penn
At least one well-known sports media personality is so certain that a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor is going to happen that he has already booked hotel accommodations for it.
On his radio show Monday, Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports revealed that he has gotten information indicating Mayweather vs. McGregor will take place the weekend of Sept. 17, 2016, in Las Vegas.
“I have already booked two rooms for Sept. 17 and 18 in Las Vegas,” Cowherd said. “My intel is Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is going to happen. It changed late last week. I got a call, then somebody else sent me something yesterday and Saturday and we booked rooms in Vegas.”
Cowherd casually dropped the bomb and then spoke about how he does not believe it will be a good fight but it “doesn’t matter” because of how much money everyone is going to make. He said he anticipates the official announcement coming in about two weeks.
If that’s true, this would obviously be an unprecedented event between two fighters from completely different disciplines. Mayweather has said numerous times that he believes the fight will happen, though it has been widely assumed that the retired champion is just trying to create a buzz.
Mayweather is adamant that he will not come out of retirement for any fight that guarantees him less than $100 million, and he has reportedly offered to pay McGregor about half of that. In an interview over the weekend, McGregor had some choice words for Mayweather regarding who needs the fight more. You can read what McGregor said here.
Between Mayweather being retired and McGregor being under contract with the UFC, it seems like there would be a ton of hoops to jump through to make the fight happen. If what Cowherd said is true, there apparently aren’t enough hoops to prevent the bout from taking place.
Video via The Big Lead
Conor McGregor is willing to negotiate a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., but the MMA star has no intention of taking less money than Mayweather in any potential bout.
Mayweather has already said on numerous occasions that he would not come out of retirement for less than $100 million guaranteed. In an interview with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne this weekend, McGregor said he wants the same amount if not more.
“It was him that leaked the rumor. He gets $100 million and I get $7 million. That’s a pay cut for me. I don’t take pay cuts,” McGregor said. “I thought boxing was where money was at. The $7 million is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100 million, I’m also talking $100 million. I’m 27 years of age and just about halfway through a $100 million contract. At 27 Floyd Mayweather was on Oscar De La Hoya’s undercard, so compare that.”
While $7 million for McGregor was the original number that was thrown around, that would never happen. A more recent report claimed Mayweather has offered McGregor $50 million.
McGregor wants more money because he believes he is just as big of a draw as Mayweather. Not only that, he thinks Floyd needs the fight more than he does.
“He’s getting old now. I have the size, I have the reach, I have the height. I have the youth. He needs me. I don’t need him,” the UFC featherweight champion said. “Who else can he fight? He fights someone else in the boxing realm, and all of a sudden the pay goes from $100 million to $15 million. He needs me. If he wants to talk, we can talk, but it’s me who’s in control here.”
As we have said numerous times, the odds of this fight actually happening are incredibly slim. Mayweather probably wants to build the hype and come out of retirement to go for his 50th win at some point, and that’s why he’s insisting a fight with McGregor will happen. McGregor, also a master promoter, did his part by sharing this poster on social media.
Fight fans — both boxing and MMA – should not get their hopes up.
Don’t hold your breath on a rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor — yet.
Dana White apparently has met with both fighters this week in hopes of putting together a deal for the men to face each other in a rematch of Diaz’s win over McGregor in March. He met with McGregor this week and says the relationship between the two is “great.” So White headed up to Stockton, Calif. to meet with Diaz on Friday for lunch.
TMZ Sports says an apparently upset White stormed out after meeting with Diaz. They say both sides were friendly during their meal, but things “ended abruptly when Dana was visibly angry, stood up and beelined it for his SUV.”
The two men were initially scheduled to meet at UFC 200 on July 9, but that fell through after McGregor refused to travel to Las Vegas to fulfill some of his media obligations. McGregor said he was going to retire in response. Whatever their issues have been seem to have been resolved, but now there seems to be a problem with Diaz.
What’s odd is that McGregor even has interest in a rematch in the first place. He made a significant jump up in weight to face Diaz, all because Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of the initially scheduled fight. After getting pummeled by Diaz, McGregor complained that the weight difference was too much to overcome. That makes you wonder why he would want to fight Diaz again.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has reportedly started to talk numbers with Conor McGregor, but he is going to have to offer the UFC featherweight champion a lot more if a fight is going to happen.
According to TMZ, Mayweather has offered McGregor $50 million for a fight that would take place on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Floyd has already said numerous times that he would have to get at least $100 million guaranteed to fight McGregor, and the Irishman is reportedly not open to making half — or far less than half — of what Mayweather will rake in.
As TMZ notes, Dana White would have to sign off on any fight between Mayweather and McGregor, as McGregor is under contract with the UFC. White and McGregor recently met face to face and sorted out their differences, but it’s unclear if they discussed future UFC fights for McGregor or the potential bout against Mayweather.
McGregor could make the argument that he is just as big of a draw as Mayweather at the moment, especially in overseas markets.
Mayweather is all about his image, and some people feel that he retired with a perfect 49-0 record so he could build the hype and come back at some point to go for his 50th victory. A boxing vs. MMA fight still seems extremely far-fetched, but Mayweather says he believes it will happen. McGregor did his part to stoke the fire by sharing this poster on social media.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s career as a boxer appears to be close to over, but that does not mean he is anywhere near done making his mark on the combat sports.
Mayweather also runs Mayweather Promotions and has about 20 fighters signed. He has made it clear that he would like to expand into promoting MMA fighters. One thing he would like to do is sign UFC pound-for-pound king Jon Jones.
“Jon Jones is with the MMA but we still got to communicate. We’d love to have Jon Jones be a part of TMT (The Money Team),” Mayweather told ESNews in an interview on Friday. “It’s not just about us making money; it’s about the talent winning. We believe in the talent winning when it is all said and done.”
It’s unclear exactly how Mayweather would partner with Jones as Jones is already signed with the UFC. But between his talk about fighting Conor McGregor and his desire to sign Jones, it’s obvious Mayweather has his eyes on integrating an MMA element into his promotional company.
At the very least, maybe the two could spar in the ring so Floyd could prove Jones wrong.