Dana White Doubts There Will Be Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Rematch

While Floyd Mayweather’s victory over Conor McGregor surpassed many fans’ expectations in terms of entertainment value, UFC President Dana White is skeptical about the odds of a rematch between the two stars. 
Asked about the possible bout on Pard…

While Floyd Mayweather‘s victory over Conor McGregor surpassed many fans’ expectations in terms of entertainment value, UFC President Dana White is skeptical about the odds of a rematch between the two stars. 

Asked about the possible bout on Pardon My Take (h/t Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Chavez), White said, “I never say never but I doubt it.”

It’s not like fans were left with any doubt regarding who was the superior boxer following Mayweather’s TKO victory in August. McGregor looked good early on, but he ran out of gas midway through the fight, making the gulf in class between him and McGregor clear.

Money talks, though. ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported in August that Mayweather was set to earn at least $100 million from the fight, with his total payout likely surpassing $200 million. McGregor, meanwhile, made a minimum of $30 million that likely climbed above $100 million.

The allure of a massive payday could get Mayweather and McGregor back in the ring, even if a rematch is largely unnecessary.

White’s comments about a possible rematch aren’t all that surprising since he arguably has a vested interest in getting McGregor away from a boxing ring.

McGregor is one of UFC’s biggest names. Four of the company’s five biggest buy rates have come with the lightweight champion headlining the card. With Ronda Rousey’s mixed martial arts career in flux and Jon Jones facing a lengthy suspension, UFC needs all the star power it can get.

McGregor is already approaching nearly a year since his last fight in UFC—a victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November. The last thing UFC needs is for him to continue his boxing career, thus necessitating even more time away from the Octagon.

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Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Gate Reportedly Falls Short of Record

The fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor did not break gate records for boxing, falling short of Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao.
According to Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting, the Mayweather vs. McGregor contest gene…

The fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor did not break gate records for boxing, falling short of Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao.

According to Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting, the Mayweather vs. McGregor contest generated $55,414,865.79 in ticket sales, compared to the $72,198,500 gate of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

Per Raimondi, UFC president Dana White had claimed gate receipts would equal $70 million, but it appears his estimation was inflated.

However, Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza told The MMA Hour (h/t Raimondipay-per-view sales could match or surpass the 4.6 million mark set by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

Espinoza said:

We are now sort of mid-4 million. If we see the kind of growth that we typically see, then we’ll break the record. I don’t want to assume we get the typical growth, because this is not a typical event. There are many different ways in which this event behaved differently. But we have a very good shot at breaking the record.

Mayweather was victorious as he stopped McGregor in Las Vegas, winning by technical knockout in the 10th round.

 

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Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor Fight on Track to Generate over 4M PPV Buys

Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza told Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden on Friday that the Aug. 26 superfight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is “tracking” to generate more than 4 million pay-per-view purchases.
Accor…

Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza told Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden on Friday that the Aug. 26 superfight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is “tracking” to generate more than 4 million pay-per-view purchases.

According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Lance Pugmire, Espinoza said “it’s too early to declare a hard number,” but the fight is “tracking in the mid-to-high 4 million pay-per view buys.”

Pugmire added the fight is “expected” to top $600 million in total revenue and has a chance to exceed the record 4.6 million pay-per-view purchases generated by Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao.  

“If we don’t reach the record, we’re going to be very, very close,” Espinoza said.

According to Pugmire, final pay-per-view numbers are expected to be released next week. 

Skepticism rightly enveloped the lead-up to the fight, which pitted the undefeated Mayweather against McGregor in the UFC lightweight champion’s first-ever boxing match. 

But in a pleasant surprise, Mayweather and McGregor put on a far more entertaining and competitive show than anyone could have expected. 

While McGregor was ultimately defeated via 10th-round TKO, the Irishman held his own before the stoppage. According to MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta, McGregor landed 111 punches total—30 more than Pacquiao connected on in his unanimous decision defeat against Mayweather. 

“He’s a tough competitor,” Mayweather said after improving to 50-0, per MMAFighting. “I think we gave the fans want they wanted to see. He was a lot better than I thought he was.”

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The Question: Should Conor McGregor Quit MMA for Boxing?

Should he or shouldn’t he?
The UFC’s biggest superstar, Conor McGregor, just pocketed $30 million for one night of work as a professional boxer.
Taking home at least 10 times what he’s ever made in a UFC fight by switching over to boxing begs the …

Should he or shouldn’t he?

The UFC’s biggest superstar, Conor McGregor, just pocketed $30 million for one night of work as a professional boxer.

Taking home at least 10 times what he’s ever made in a UFC fight by switching over to boxing begs the question for Team McGregor: Should Conor ditch MMA for boxing?

What He Learned in The Fight

Make no mistake: The novice professional boxer needs to shore up his game in a few particular areas if he hopes to compete against elite fighters and continue to rake in millions.

McGregor most assuredly learned valuable lessons facing the top fighter of a generation. Mayweather’s Round 10 knockout win over McGregor highlighted the areas McGregor should focus on moving forward.

First, McGregor had no hope on Saturday of landing any significant punches when fighting on the inside. He lacks the natural intuition a pure inside fighter possesses, and while he’d need to augment his skillful counterpunching with some kind of inside game, it’d probably be best for him at this late age to focus on keeping his opponents at the end of his long punches.

It’s been done before. Recently retired longtime heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko enjoyed one of the better careers in heavyweight history after he ditched his inside efforts for a long-distance technique.

McGregor could easily follow suit. Like Klitschko, McGregor possesses an excellent jab to go along with tremendous power in his other fist. Many a fighter has made a career out of the jab-cross combo and McGregor has the tools to do it, too.

Second, many were surprised at the lack of pop on McGregor‘s punches, especially after the first couple of rounds. While conditioning was probably a factor, McGregor‘s lack of zip probably had more to do with balance and stance than anything else.

Boxers and MMA fighters fight out of different stances with different techniques and footwork. While an MMA fighter has to be prepared for knees, elbows, tackles and kicks, a boxer is free to focus his defense on just his opponent’s fists.

McGregor is a world-class puncher by any standard. How many times have we seen the boisterous knockout artist drop an opponent while moving backwards? Only a born puncher like McGregor can do something like that.

But against Mayweather, McGregor just seemed to be out of his element. He couldn’t plant his feet well enough to drive through his punches using his legs, and for some reason, he was hesitant through much of the fight to put full force behind his punches.

To be an elite boxer, McGregor would need to find a top-notch boxing trainer to shore up his footwork and balance—someone who could teach him the subtle nuance he lacked against Mayweather.

The next area of concern for McGregor was his lack of conditioning. He appeared noticeably tired after Round 3, and by Rounds 9 and 10, McGregor could hardly hold himself up.

That just won’t work.

McGregor would be wise to hire a boxing-oriented strength and conditioning coach before his next 12-round fight. He was woefully underprepared to fight 12 three-minute boxing rounds on Saturday, so at least adding someone to his current team who understands the rigors of the sweet science would be well-advised.

What He Learned From His Paycheck

Elite boxers make as much as or more than any other professional athlete in the world. There are no salary caps and no teammates with which they must share revenue. Boxers enjoy the status of being the attraction of the sporting event. 

The fighter is the team. McGregor is already one of the most popular fighting teams in the sport right now.

Given the difference between boxing and the UFC’s payment structures, McGregor has every reason to believe he could make a successful transition over to the business of boxing. As a professional boxer, McGregor would be able to negotiate for a larger portion of fight revenues than can under the current UFC umbrella. Seven-figure paydays are common in the sport of boxing for main-event fighters, especially those fighting on premier cable destinations like HBO and Showtime. Meanwhile, it has been a rare occurrence for UFC fighters. In fact, according to CBSSports.com’s Brandon Wise, only five UFC fighters in history have ever earned purses over $1 million.  

Ditching the UFC and attaching himself to a boxing promoter like Mayweather Promotions or Top Rank would truly give McGregor the bargaining power he has thus far lacked with Dana White and Co.

A certain A-side against any other boxer in the sport, McGregor could call his own shots and make his own mark on the fighting world in any way that suits him.

Being already established as one of the historically great and immensely popular MMA stars, McGregor‘s move into boxing could garner him a further foothold as a household name. He could simultaneously hold the title of most popular fighter in two different sports markets: MMA and boxing. Should that occur, who knows what kind of sponsorship opportunities McGregor could land moving forward?

And the $30 million McGregor just made versus Mayweather is only the beginning. That number should skyrocket after the final pay-per-view numbers come in from last weekend, potentially tripling McGregor‘s earnings toward $90 million.

How exactly is McGregor supposed to go back to making comparative peanuts as a UFC fighter? If White hopes to keep McGregor around as a fighter on his roster, he better be ready to pony up more dough than ever before. Even that might not be enough.

Potential Big-Money Bouts

Bleacher Report’s Lyle Fitzsimmons suggested several noteworthy crossover options for McGregor, should he continue boxing. The No. 1 fight on the list would be an easy sell PPV bout against former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi. The two men’s bad blood spilled over into the promotion of Mayweather-McGregor, so they already have a leg up in selling the fight.

A former world champion, Malignaggi is long past his best days as a professional fighter and would probably net McGregor a payday purse a few times greater than what he earns in the UFC.

Moreover, the light-hitting Malignaggi would be a fair testing ground for McGregor as a boxer. Should he win, which he’d likely be favored to do, exponentially bigger fights with huge paydays would reveal themselves on down the line.

The most intriguing names include Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Manny Pacquiao. Even secondary opponents like former middleweight champion “Irish” Andy Lee and current junior welterweight titleholders Jermell Charlo and Erislandy Lara would do big numbers with McGregor.

McGregor would be wise to at least ponder the move from MMA to boxing. He is 29 years old and the clock for a successful transition is ticking loudly.

Tick-tock, Conor. It’s time to choose.

With Mayweather now allegedly retired and McGregor‘s good-enough debut in the can, the boxing PPV throne is vacant and ripe for the taking.

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Let’s Talk About Conor McGregor’s Achilles’ Heel

When it was over, Floyd Mayweather Jr. admitted that his plan all along was to let Conor McGregor punch himself out.
Mayweather had just scored a 10th-round TKO victory over McGregor in last Saturday’s much-hyped junior middleweight boxing match at T-M…

When it was over, Floyd Mayweather Jr. admitted that his plan all along was to let Conor McGregor punch himself out.

Mayweather had just scored a 10th-round TKO victory over McGregor in last Saturday’s much-hyped junior middleweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Fielding a post-fight question from Showtime Sports interviewer Jim Gray, the veteran pugilist explained why he’d started the bout so slowly and allowed McGregor to build an early lead before roaring back for the finish.

“Our game plan was to take our time, let him shoot all his heavy shots early on and then take him down at the end, down the stretch,” Mayweather said. “We know in MMA he fights 25 minutes real hard and after that he starts to slow down.”

If this was indeed Mayweather’s strategy, it was an effective one.

It was also well-informed.

Those familiar with McGregor’s body of work as a two-division UFC champion already knew the swaggering Irishman’s one Achilles’ heel—aside from perhaps his submission defense—could be his endurance.

If you count Saturday’s match against Mayweather, McGregor is now 11 fights into his run on the worldwide stage. He’s fought in two different sports, four total weight classes and against a very disparate group of opponents. All told, the results have been overwhelmingly positive. McGregor is 9-2 since 2013 (again, counting Mayweather), has won titles in two weight classes and set box office records in both MMA and boxing.

On the rare occasions things go wrong for him, however, there appears to be one constant: McGregor gets tired.

After both of the fighter’s high-profile losses—first to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March 2016, then to Mayweather—McGregor has at least partially blamed his own gas tank.

Case in point: Following Saturday’s referee stoppage, the 29-year-old Dublin native steadfastly maintained that Mayweather never really hurt him. The real problem, McGregor insisted during his own interview with Gray, was that he got too winded.

“I was just a little fatigued,” he said. “I get a little wobbly when I’m tired. It is fatigue. The referee could have let it keep going, let the man put me down. I am clear-headed. Where were the final two rounds? Let me wobble to the corner and make him put me down.”

On Thursday, McGregor essentially doubled-down on that assertion. He detailed his training for the fight in a lengthy Instagram post, going so far as to say he might have won if he’d made a couple of minor tweaks to his preparations:

Of course, there are a lot of other perfectly good—and arguably unavoidable—reasons why McGregor might have slowed down against Mayweather.

Boxing provides a different cardiovascular challenge than MMA, and by the time Mayweather ended their fight with strikes, the two had been battling for just over 28 total minutes. That made it the longest bout of McGregor’s career.

Both fighters also had relatively short training camps between the bout’s announcement in June and fight night. Factor in the otherworldly level of competition McGregor faced in his first boxing match, the magnitude of the event itself and Mayweather’s consistent work to the body during the fight and perhaps anyone would’ve been fatigued by the end.

Then again, we’ve seen endurance be a factor in McGregor’s MMA bouts as well.

In the wake of that second-round submission loss to Diaz, McGregor told the UFC’s Megan Olivi he’d been “inefficient” with his energy. He also promised to go back to the training room and figure out how to solve the problem.

“I lost in there,” McGregor said. “There were errors, but errors can be fixed if you face them head on.”

A bit more than five-and-a-half months later, he and Diaz rematched at UFC 202 and it was obvious McGregor had indeed taken steps to address the issue. He was noticeably more reserved during his walk to the cage and introductions and appeared more deliberate once the fight started.

He began by feeding Diaz a steady diet of low kicks to supplement his normal left-handed power punching. The strategy seemed to work early on, as McGregor dropped Diaz to the canvas with strikes three times during the fight’s first seven minutes. As the second round wore on, however, McGregor began to lag—just as he had in their first fight.

The third round was a borderline 10-8 win by Diaz. Though McGregor rebounded during the championship fourth and fifth frames and ultimately squeaked by with a majority decision victory, a profile of him began to emerge.

Perhaps McGregor is a competitor who comes out of his corner fast but fades the longer his fights go on.

Mayweather clearly knew this headed into their boxing match and used it to his advantage.

McGregor knows it too, but implied during a post-fight interview with ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto that the situation is under control. He also noted he thinks it may be more a psychological problem than physical.

“I don’t know what it is; it’s a mental thing or something,” McGregor said. “It happened in the Diaz 2 fight as well. I had a little stage at the end of the second round and end of the third, but then look what happened in the fourth and then the fifth—I came back. I overcame it.”

In fairness, he has a point.

So far, McGregor’s endurance hasn’t exactly derailed his rise. He did win the second fight against Diaz, after all, and in his only other UFC fight to go the distance—a three-rounder against a very green Max Holloway in August 2013—he didn’t appear to suffer from fatigue at all.

More often than not, McGregor has ended his fights so quickly that he hasn’t had to test his energy reserves. Of his 21 professional MMA wins, 19 have been first- or second-round stoppages.

It’s not at all unusual for MMA fighters to struggle with their cardio, either. The sport is so grueling that even top professionals are spent after 15-25 minutes of competition. For someone who typically starts as fast and throws as hard as McGregor does, there are bound to be hurdles.

Still, McGregor’s conditioning issues appear more obvious than most—maybe because he’s been so good in every other aspect of the fight game. It’s striking to watch a guy who is otherwise so mentally and physically sound consistently encounter the same problem.

It’s also an awkward look for someone who spent much of the lead-up to the Mayweather bout hocking his new for-purchase “McGregor Fast” conditioning program.

McGregor is so meticulous and calculated that it’s hard to believe he’ll let such an obvious flaw hang around for long.

But if Mayweather knew the correct strategy was to weather McGregor’s early storm and start to pressure him later in the fight, McGregor’s future MMA opponents will know it, too.

The blueprint of how to beat him is out there now. You can bet guys like Diaz, Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov all took note.

But if McGregor’s biggest weakness to this point has been his endurance, one of his biggest strengths has been his analytical nature.

As he moves forward, he’ll know he needs to adapt and close the holes in his game.

The fun part will be seeing how he responds.

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Conor McGregor Says Floyd Mayweather Has ‘Strong Tools’ He Could Take into MMA

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. has some “strong tools” that’d enable him to be a success in MMA. 
McGregor had his first professional boxing fight on Saturday against the iconic Mayweather, but he was stopped…

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. has some “strong tools” that’d enable him to be a success in MMA

McGregor had his first professional boxing fight on Saturday against the iconic Mayweather, but he was stopped in the 10th round. In an Instagram post on Thursday discussing all aspects of the contest, the Irishman paid tribute to his opponent and his abilities as a fighter:

“I always told him he was not a fighter but a boxer,” said McGregor. “But sharing the ring with him he is certainly a solid fighter. Strong in the clinch. Great understanding of frames and head position. He has some very strong tools he could bring into an MMA game for sure.”

            

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available. 

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