UFC superstar Conor McGregor, who for a time was the only man in the organization’s history to hold title belts in two weight classes, will take on future boxing Hall of Famer and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on August 26 in an unprecedented boxing match.
McGregor (21-3, 18 KOs in MMA) is set as the +400 underdog at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com but has been taking plenty of action because he was +950 back in November 2016. Mayweather has dropped from -2250 to -600.
Could McGregor win? The guy has had as many professional boxing fights as you and I have. But there’s always the chance of a knockout. Some of the best boxers in history have been knocked out. Manny Pacquiao, to name one. This fight is expected to break all financial records set by the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in May 2015. The over/under for pay-per-view buys is 4.99 million.
To win by KO, TKO or disqualification, McGregor is +550. By decision is +3300. The Irishman likely will be very aggressive in the ring because realistically his only way of winning is by knockout. Mayweather is one of the greatest defensive technicians in boxing history. He rarely gets hit square. McGregor does have a two-inch reach advantage.
What does this mean for McGregor’s future in the UFC, win or lose? He really can’t lose in the grand scheme of things with the huge money he will be making and the fact very few expect him to win. A victory only helps bolster the legitimacy of MMA to long-time boxing fans who ignore that sport. That also would give McGregor huge leverage over the UFC for more money in his fights – if he doesn’t have it already. And that’s if he goes back to the UFC.
Like Mayweather, McGregor has a huge ego and loves the cash. There’s no potential fight in the UFC that would surpass this one in terms of overall interest or a payday for McGregor, who is the current lightweight champion. He also has never closed as a betting underdog in a UFC fight. McGregor’s last loss was a huge upset against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March 2016, but McGregor beat Diaz by majority decision in a rematch at UFC 202.
McGregor last fought in November, a second-round TKO victory over Eddie Alvarez to defend his lightweight belt.
Would McGregor destroy Mayweather in an MMA fight? No question. That’s an entirely different and more brutal sport. Punching is just one portion of it. MMA fighters combine boxing, martial arts and wrestling skills. Needless to say, McGregor will not be allowed to use any kicks, elbows or takedown moves in the ring. He would be penalized at first if so and then would be disqualified if he continued.