It’s finally here. Check out our Mayweather vs McGregor preview.
I never thought this fight would happen. I always thought Dana White would protect Conor McGregor from himself and rebuff any attempt to put the fight together by simply giving McGregor enough money over a span of a few fights to make up most of the money he could make with Mayweather.
But at some point, the fight just became too big. It’s not just about the money for White and McGregor though, it seems like it is. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make McGregor one of the biggest names in sports. Ronda Rousey was big. Conor McGregor can be bigger.
Don’t get me wrong. This is clearly money driven on both sides. Prize fighting should be. Conor McGregor couldn’t make as much money as he’ll make fighting Mayweather in three years of fighting in the UFC. After a terrible 2017, Dana White’s UFC can turnaround a bad year simply by being a silent partner. But at what cost?
If McGregor lays an egg against Mayweather, the UFC just sacrificed their top draw for a money grab, which could hurt future business. Dana White has always been a proponent of not stepping over dollars to pick up dimes. But maybe he figures that if he doesn’t let McGregor do this, McGregor will hold it against him and the UFC and not want to do business. But what if McGregor makes enough money in this fight that he becomes uncontrollable to book? Look at the Diaz brothers. They haven’t made nearly the money McGregor has and they call all the shots in their fights now. Nate Diaz is a draw now and he doesn’t want to fight for what the UFC wants to pay him. What if McGregor becomes that times ten?
Mayweather has said flat out that the only reason he came back was for the money grab. In a career of smart things he’s done, which includes moving away from Bob Arum and betting on himself, getting Oscar De La Hoya to face him, and letting Manny Pacquiao get so old that the public was worried that the fight may not ever happen, this may be the smartest. He’s fighting a guy who’s a boxing amateur, yet has enough of the public sentiment that the majority of the bets are coming in on him. They’ve fooled some of the public again, and there’s zero risk for Mayweather. He may make the most money of his career on Saturday. He doesn’t call himself money for nothing.
The question I keep getting is whether McGregor has a chance against this generation’s best boxer. People hoping that he does keep saying that all he needs to do is land one punch. But Mayweather is one of the best defensive fighters ever and he rarely gets hit squarely. So how does that happen? Luck?
If this was even slightly a mixed rules fight and McGregor could throw just two kicks per round, it would change the fight completely. If McGregor could feint with his legs and get Mayweather to anticipate something other than his left hand, you could talk me into the idea that he has a shot. But without that, Mayweather can watch McGregor early, look for patterns, and start setting him up. Think about all the great fighters who saw an opening in Mayweather’s defense and then by the time they delivered the punch, the opening was closed. Unless Conor truly is Mystic Mac, I can’t imagine him hitting Mayweather nearly at all, unless Floyd baits him.
One thing about Conor that you don’t really think about is that he carries a lot of muscle mass on his frame. I think that’s the reason he gets tired in his MMA fights. His legs are thick. His upper body is muscular. And while he’s lean, he’s really strong. I wonder how his body is going to transition to this fight. They’re using smaller gloves, so that should help with his stamina, but Mayweather’s going to use the entire ring and I can see McGregor getting tired early.
I think Floyd will test out the first three or four rounds. He said that he wins his fight with patience. And even though McGregor is a novice boxer by comparison, I don’t think Mayweather is going to take any risks. He’s going to wait for him to get tired. Conor may very well try to test the pace early, but outside of catching Mayweather on the ropes a bit, I can’t see him walking him down.
I think rounds four through eight will be tough for McGregor because he’s going to be tired and will be more of a target as he takes more chances, which he’ll have to do. Will we see Mayweather get that TKO? I think so. But I think McGregor’s corner will throw in the towel as they see McGregor getting beat up for no good reason. And maybe because Dana White sends them a text to remind him that he needs McGregor in December.
I’ll actually be rooting for McGregor. My youngest kid is betting me that McGregor will win. He’s convinced that McGregor just needs one shot to shock the world. He’ll have his McGregor jersey on and be focused all day long. That’s 20 dollars that I won’t mind losing. I just don’t see how it can happen.