UFC featherweight sensation Conor McGregor says a superfight between him and boxer Floyd Mayweather would be worth $500 million—and boasts that he would “knock him out cold.”
The fiery Irish interim featherweight champion—perhaps the most exciting fighter in MMA with the possible exception of Ronda Rousey—says this half-billion dollar clash of combat sport superstars might be a mismatch in a boxing ring, but in “a real fight” his grappling prowess would easily destroy Mayweather.
“In a real fight I would dismantle him in seconds,” McGregor told the U.K. Guardian. "Ronda would dismantle him in seconds – 100%. When you don’t know how to grapple you don’t stand a chance. For us, it’s like playing with a baby.
"People who don’t understand the sport cannot understand how vulnerable they are. There are always clinches and Ronda is a judo Olympian. She would throw Floyd on his head in a second. Me? I would knock him out. Cold.”
Alas, as Mayweather is set to fight his final match on September 12 against the lightly-regarded Andre Berto to retire undefeated, such an incredibly risky, cross-style fight stands about as much of a chance of happening as Muhammad Ali taking on Bruce Lee in his prime.
Yes, Mayweather usually fights at the 147 pound welterweight limit and McGregor battles at 145, so it wouldn’t be the weight mismatch that Rocky Balboa experienced versus the much larger pro wrestler Thunderlips, memorably portrayed by Hulk Hogan inRocky 3. But a Mayweather-McGregor megabout is nearly as absurd in practice.
An elite boxer has never agreed to risk his legacy (and health) by meeting a MMA fighter in the ring, and McGregor doesn’t see his dream fight happening anytime soon. Even if it would surely be a rivetingly dangerous freak show that would rake in untold millions on pay-per-view.
“Why would he take me on?” McGregor says. “But if you’re talking about a fight that could generate half a billion – it’s this one. There’s never going to be another boxing fight like this. Only a cross-style match between Mayweather and me could generate that kind of interest and revenue.
"So maybe it could happen. I would certainly be up for it. I am capitalizing on every single opportunity. It’s a strong word, one of my favorite words: capitalize. I’m ready to capitalize on everything.”
This isn’t the first time that there’s been talk of a UFC superstar fighting Mayweather.
On Monday night, during an Ask Me Anything chat on Reddit, Rousey was asked whether she could take Mayweather in a no-holds-barred bout.
"Floyd is one of the best boxers of all time," said Rousey, the UFC female bantamweight champion. "He would definitely beat me in a boxing match. I unfortunately don't get into 'matches.' I fight for a living.
"In a no-rules fight, I believe I can beat anyone on this planet," she said. "Boxing is a sweet science with strict rules that I respect very much and aspire every day to improve at. But you said ruleless fight, and that's my honest answer."
Last year, UFC president Dan White made a prediction about what would happen if Rousey were to actually fight her least favorite person.
"You take a street fight, Ronda wins that fight and hurts him badly," White said. "You do an MMA fight, same result. Boxing match, Floyd Mayweather chews her up."
White doubled-down on his prediction this week, telling TMZ that Rousey would "rag doll" Mayweather, while McGregor would "obliterate" him.
Perhaps one of these days we’ll actually find out. But as it stands, Mayweather won't battle a UFC superstar in the ring for any amount of money.