Eric Jamison/Associated Press
According to renowned boxing journalist Gareth A Davies, negotiations are ongoing for a rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, with the fight taking place inside the octagon, rather than the boxing ring.
Rumours of an MMA bout between the two have been swirling for some time, and Davies told TalkSport’s Jim White his sources say the negotiations are taking place:
“My soundings are that there are a lot of talks going on in the background, there are a lot of talks around people with Mayweather.
“There are a lot of talks about him potentially having an MMA fight with Conor McGregor.
“Conor McGregor had no chance in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
‘People will tune in to see Mayweather get stopped by Conor McGregor and it won’t affect his boxing record.
“I think it’s going to happen and I think it will be a three, four, five hundred million dollar fight again.”
Mayweather has previously denied rumours he was considering fighting in MMA, per MMA Weekly, but he has also hinted at the move―most recently via social media:
Floyd Mayweather @FloydMayweather
Come at the king, you best not miss… https://t.co/uHx4SJngHx
McGregor has made it clear he wants the rematch to happen, via TMZ Sports.
The two met inside a boxing ring in August 2017, with Mayweather extending his perfect record to 50-0 via a stoppage in the 10th round. McGregor, who had never boxed as a professional before, put together a remarkably good performance for an inexperienced boxer, and his positive showing immediately led to rumours of a rematch.
The Notorious hasn’t fought in the UFC since 2016, when he won the lightweight title off Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. MMA fans are eagerly anticipating his next move, as there are several high-profile challengers in the lightweight division, including interim champion Tony Ferguson and his next opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
Mayweather came out of retirement to face McGregor and immediately retired again after their bout. Given his age―he’s 40 years old―and the fact he owns Mayweather Promotions, one of the most lucrative promotion firms in the sport, most pundits don’t believe he’ll take the risk of switching to MMA, where he would face one of the most skilled fighters in the UFC.
UFC legend Michael Bisping spoke on his Believe You Me podcast (via the Mirror‘s Martin Domin) to express his doubts regarding Mayweather’s potential move to MMA:
“I honestly can’t see Floyd Mayweather fighting mixed martial arts and certainly [not] in the UFC. If he does fight in the UFC it’s going to be against Conor McGregor.
“Conor McGregor in an MMA fight will f–king destroy Floyd Mayweather like he’s never seen.
“It takes so long to learn—so long to put the pieces of the puzzle together, so long to learn the grappling the transitions from the striking to the grappling.”
Davies disagrees, however, citing the enormous payday potentially on offer. If the two could smash MMA’s pay-per-view records to the point of several hundred million dollars, it would certainly provide a huge incentive.