Floyd Mayweather coming out of retirement at the age of 40 to fight Conor McGregor has created a lot of debate and discussion. A lot of this has been stupid unfortunately. Both huge names and massively talented in their own disciplines. The boxing community has snarled at the thought of ‘the Notorious’ strolling (in his famous style) into a boxing ring and dismantling ‘the Best Ever’ in rounds one to four. Is it really that unlikely? With the bravado and confidence on both sides any outcome is not out of the question. While it brings excitement in our opinion to the world of combat sports it also brings to you a light ill feeling between two of the biggest fighting disciplines.
All over social media in the last few months fans of the UFC and supporters of boxing have been going head to head in heated discussions on the issue. MMA fans seem to believe that McGregor coming into boxing and beating a fighter who has been retired would help secure their camp as a superior one. Boxing fans expecting Mayweather to toy with the Irishman until he gets bored and puts him out of his misery think that this scenario would claim their discipline as superior. Really neither could be further from the truth.
The two contrasting sets of rules are similar in some senses. In others they are completely different. Within the concept of MMA boxing exists. However, boxing is only a small piece in a greater puzzle. The UFC is exactly what it says in its name, it is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Fighters from every discipline compete to see who comes out on top. Each competitor in the UFC works on implementing their strengths and negating other fighting styles that they may face. With this being said it is fair to say that if ‘Money’ Mayweather climbed into the octagon to fight McGregor the contest would be substantially unbalanced. The UFC star has superior skills on the floor, in the clinch and is a demon with his kicking game.
Logically the only way a fight between the two money spinners can only work in a boxing ring under the Queensberry Boxing Rules. McGregor has hyped up his upbringing as a boxer before he picked the alternate route into MMA. Of course this is the only way the two can be pitted against each other with some level of fairness. This level of fairness is only present because of Mayweather’s age. He has been out of the ring for just under two years, he is 40 years of age and he is considerably smaller than his opponent. These are all factors that level the playing field.
It is understandable why MMA supporters need McGregor to win. They have been mocked by the boxing world for what seems live forever. McGregors win would give their ever growing reputation a meteoric rise. But this is not a case of a UFC star facing the best boxer in a generation. This is Conor McGregor going up against that man. McGregor has outgrown the UFC. No disrespect to the UFC roster but their is no one fighter who comes close to the superstar level ‘the Notorious’ has.
It is not just his attitude leading up to or after fights that gives him his star quality. He backs it up every time he goes into a fight. He performs well and is never standing still. He pushes himself to take on new challenges and if he does not get it right the first time he will make sure next time round he is prepared to take revenge.
A McGregor win on August 26 would be a colossal achievement for himself and his faithful team. Of course the UFC would profit from the event. Their stock would go up, their pay per views would rise and they would finally have legitimate bragging rights over their fiercest rivals. Rumours are circulating that he does not fancy going back to the UFC. With big fights with opponents such as Khabib Nurmagomedov and rematches with Jose Aldo and Nate Diaz on his schedule it is not surprising. He has also developed a taste for the extra revenue that boxing will allow him. In the UFC the company take a cut of the profit so fighters have lower pay outs.
With everything that is fascinating about MMA there is some negatives. While more styles create more diversity and exciting open fights, the amount of fighting philosophies mean that mastering a couple or even one is difficult. Lets face facts here. Striking with hands in MMA is not as strong as punching in boxing. MMA forces fighters to take up different stances and guards to fight off the variety of attacks that come at them. There is a difference in punching technique that will be difficult for McGregor to pick up, where as Mayweather will have these techniques ingrained in his movement.
People argue that McGregor’s movements will be the difference and they will be nothing like Mayweather has seen. This may be true but do you seriously believe that McGregor has been in with anybody close to the ability of Mayweather? Seen as there is nobody better at what ‘Money’ does it seems highly unlikely. McGregor will be unorthodox and throw different shots but Mayweather’s boxing style will be enough to deal with them. Mayweather is not unbeaten in 49 fights because he just turns up and gives it his best. He is s supremely talented fighter.
In an event such as this you are always going to get two sides who are passionate about their favourite. It is inevitable. That being said can we not just enjoy this contest for what it is. A once in a life time contest that is featuring two of the best fighters we have seen. Put your differences aside and support whichever individual you like. This is not about MMA against boxing. It is about Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor.