UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor said he’s planning to “break” Floyd Mayweather Jr. within four rounds during their highly anticipated boxing match next week at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor, one of the best trash-talkers in combat sports, made the prediction during an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show:
While McGregor is aiming for a quick victory, he’s also said he wouldn’t mind an extended fight with the five-division world champion, per Daniel Matthews of the Daily Mail. The UFC sensation said that might help give boxing fans more respect for MMA.
“(But) part of me is hoping that maybe he can last … part of me wants to show some skill and to dismantle him,” McGregor said Wednesday. “We are ready for absolutely every scenario. I am ready to go to war for the full 12 rounds and I’m ready to put him away in the first 10 seconds.”
He added: “I’m just looking forward to August 26 and proving what I’m saying and educating the world of what martial arts is and giving the fans and everybody a good solid fight and earning my respect in this game also.”
The 29-year-old Irishman is a sizable underdog in the high-profile, cross-sport clash, which doesn’t come as a surprise given his extremely limited boxing experience—this is his first official fight—and Mayweather’s undefeated record.
Yet, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com noted UFC President Dana White believes it will be a competitive battle despite the large gap in experience.
“All these naysayers, let me tell you what,” he said. “This fight goes two ways. Either Floyd Mayweather runs around and does his style of fighting, defense, stays away from Conor and tries to not get hit. Conor will go right after Floyd Mayweather and try to knock him out. That’s Conor’s style. When have you ever seen a boring Conor McGregor fight?
“And then there’s the other side, where Floyd thinks that Conor is so weak at boxing he comes right after him. Speed kills, tries to use his speed and actually knock Conor McGregor out. I want it to be a good fight and I truly believe it will be a good fight.”
All told, the fact Mayweather hasn’t competed in nearly two years since his victory over Andre Berto in September 2015 gives McGregor at least a puncher’s chance. But knocking one of the best defensive fighters in history out inside the first four rounds would be a shocker.
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