How in the hell did this start? This has to be one of the most ridiculous proposed fights I've heard in combat sports. We have on one hand an undefeated, "retired" boxing icon and on the other we have a newly minted UFC Featherweight champion who has yet to defend his title and lost his last fight to a man two weight classes above him. And yet somehow, here we are, debating the possibility of these two larger than life characters stepping onto a combat surface in order to engage in modern day gladiatorial combat.
There has always been a debate in the public with regards to boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. Despite their completely different rule sets and divergent histories, people still like to couple them together due to them being the two biggest combat sports in the world. And there are no two bigger stars in boxing and MMA at the moment than Floyd Mayweather (come on, you really think he is retired?) and Conor McGregor.
I need to preface this list though by saying that there is almost a zero percent chance that the fight will happen. This is by anyone's calculations a constructed ploy on both McGregor and Mayweather's parts to work up their fans and the media. BUT... what if it isn't? The chance of the fight happening is just high enough that I can speculate on it, giving you six reasons why it shouldn't and six other reasons why it should happen. For the record, it was much easier to come up with reasons why it shouldn't happen as compared to why it should. Just saying.
Here are six arguments for and six against this possible showdown.
12 Should Happen: Could Repair The UFC/McGregor Relationship
It's widely assumed by most people that after the UFC 200 public debacle, Conor McGregor and the UFC brass' relationship with their top star could use some smoothing over. While it could likely be solved in plenty of ways, one way could be to let Conor McGregor get this big payday by fighting Floyd Mayweather.
The UFC could ill-afford another Randy Couture or Georges St-Pierre situation where they have one of their top stars be less than happy with the promotion so by letting McGregor get this fight done, McGregor wouldn't be able to say anything bad.
11 Shouldn't Happen: McGregor Should Defend His World Championship
Conor McGregor won his UFC World Championship from Jose Aldo on December 12, 2015. It has been 157 days since he won the title and no title defense has even been announced yet. Not because of injury, just because McGregor seemingly has no interest in it, instead wishing to take money fights.
No problem with that, but if you're going to do it, you better clear out your division before going with ridiculous match-ups like Nate Diaz or my goodness Floyd Mayweather. I say before McGregor thinks about fighting Mayweather, he should defend his title a couple of times AT LEAST. He might not care, but damnit I care if McGregor holds up the UFC Featherweight division.
10 Should Happen: Would Be Better Than James Toney/Randy Couture
If by a crazy miracle Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather were to square off, it wouldn't be the first time that a high profile boxer faces a high level MMA fighter. That would be James Toney vs. Randy Couture at UFC 118. And it sucked...
Toney came in overweight and woefully unprepared (in his defense he was facing Randy Couture) and was quickly submitted in the first round. The sport of boxing deserves a second chance to prove they can hang with an MMA fighter and the eternally fit "Money" could be the one to do it.
9 Shouldn't Happen: Would It Even be Exciting?
Alright so Conor McGregor is known as quite an exciting MMA fighter in and out of the cage. He has tremendous power in his left hand and most of his wins come from KOs. Not so much in the case of Floyd Mayweather.
While Mayweather is a tremendous boxer, he is primarily a defensive wunderkind and not necessarily a power puncher or an "exciting" fighter. He's great to analyze and emulate, but unless you're a true tactical analyst, he can easily make you drowsy. For that, a fight with a very under-developed boxer like McGregor could turn into a real snooze.
8 Should Happen: Fans Want To See These Two Get Beaten Up
But wait! How could I say that the fans win either way despite after just saying the fight would likely be boring? Well even boring fights could end with pain for both fighters.
Both guys have incredibly loud mouths and plenty of fans want to see them get taken down a peg. McGregor never relents with his trash talking and disrespects everyone in his path while Mayweather just reeks of scumbag for a list of evil deeds too long to get into.
If we're in the business of giving people what they want, we should do that and put these two in a cage or ring and let them punch each other in the face.
7 Shouldn't Happen: Mayweather's Sketchy History With Drug Testing
Aside from some accusations from his opponents, Conor McGregor has mostly kept his nose clean from any PED-related drama. Floyd Mayweather's record though isn't so spotless.
In a piece by boxing journalist Thomas Hauser last year, Hauser wrote that despite Mayweather Promotions' partnership with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) seemingly guaranteeing that he is subject to "Olympic-style drug testing", it is far from the case. Mayweather himself decides when drug testing starts. Seriously.
Even if McGregor is drug-free, it's pretty hard to believe that Mayweather is playing by the same rules.
6 Should Happen: An Ungodly Sum of Money Will Be Made
Do some simple math here: Conor McGregor's fight versus Jose Aldo at UFC 194 reportedly secured around 1.2 million PPV buys while the McGregor-headlined UFC 196 is trending to be the biggest event in UFC history. Mayweather's fight with Manny Pacquaio earned 4.4 million PPV buys. Could you imagine how much money would be made from a McGregor/Mayweather fight?
That's really all it comes down to. The biggest stars in their respective fields meeting together would make an unbelievable PPV buyrate, which is good for all parties involved.
5 Shouldn't Happen: Good Luck Deciding On The Terms and Rules
As much as money would be a really big factor in getting this movie made, both guys still actually want to win the fight. For that to happen, you have to believe that each man is going to fight hard to have certain rules put in place that would ensure their victory. You can see how this would cause some problems.
Fans will recall just how long it took the Mayweather/Pacquaio fight to happen (spoiler alert: years). While I would suspect the drug testing probably wouldn't be an issue this time, things like fight purses would in my view. Also, is this a boxing match, a MMA fight or something in between? That alone could take several months or years to figure out.
4 Should Happen: The Trash Talk Would Be Great
Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are in some ways mirror images of each other. They're masters of self-promotion and grabbed their respective sports by the neck and seemingly siphon all the attention that they can in their respective fields. They also grew up from modest means but now are multimillionaires. In other ways though they're nothing alike.
This is where the trash talking points would commence. How would McGregor attack Mayweather on his history of domestic abuse and criminal record? What would Mayweather have to say about McGregor refusing to attend the UFC 200 press event or tapping to Nate Diaz? The war of words would be more than enough drama to feast on with several bags of popcorn.
3 Shouldn't Happen: UFC Isn't Going To Release Conor McGregor
How did we even get to this point? It all started when Conor McGregor refused to attend a press event for UFC 200 and then the UFC and McGregor got into a public pissing contest. Bottom line, McGregor lost and UFC got their way by taking McGregor off the UFC 200 card.
After all that and with the promotion stamping their authority over "The Notorious One", do you really think that Dana White and the Fertitas would allow their cash cow to just up and leave to fight a "retired" boxer? To borrow a quote from White's wrestling counterpart Vince McMahon, no chance in hell.
2 Should Happen: People Will Watch
Resistance is futile. For all of your attempts to claim that you don't care about who wins this fight or that it's bullshit bla bla bla... you are going to watch this fight.
The media, the thrash talking, the hype machine... it all gathers together to form a sensory supernova that will overwhelm you and compel you to give up your cash (or stream it online, whichever) to watch two guys that have no business fighting each other doing just that: fighting. As long as we keep giving promoters a reason as to why they should be doing these fights, we can't argue otherwise.
1 Shouldn't Happen: It Would Prove Nothing
Does anybody remember the whole point of the first UFC, all the way back in 1993? Style vs. style; could a Judoka defeat a Karate fighter? How about a Sumo vs a Muay Thai fighter? The lesson was obvious that given the opportunity to grapple, a grappler will almost assuredly defeat a striker.
The same thing would happen if they were to fight. We know Conor McGregor is clearly the more well rounded fighter than Floyd Mayweather, but Mayweather does boxing much better. We know this already, and that's why this fight would prove absolutely nothing. The combat sports world doesn't need to see this.