On Friday, UFC superstar Conor “Notorious” McGregor dropped a hint that his next fight could be with the Philippine’s Manny Pacquiao after the Irishman tweeted “tinatanggap ko.” Tinatanggap ko is translated to “I accept” in Taglog, which most Filipinos speak as their second language, The Score reported. He then followed up the hint by thanking a Filipino fan on Twitter and using a boxing glove emoji.
On Thursday, Notorious set the internet ablaze when he tweeted “I accept,” however it wasn’t clear what the fighter was accepting. The tweet came less than an hour after UFC fighter Khamzat Chimaev called Notorious out, leaving some to speculate that the Irishman was accepting a bout with Chimaev.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reached out to McGregor and asked him about the “I accept” tweet and the Irishman confirmed that he was not accepting a fight with Chimaev.
In a recent interview, top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson also shared his interest in fighting McGregor, which left some to believe Notorious was accepting Ferguson’s callout. However, Notorious threw a wrench in the conversation when he tweeted “tinatanggap ko” a day later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 31, 2020
Pacquiao is the Philippines’ most famous athlete, and the boxing legend has been linked to McGregor as a potential opponent for years. McGregor may have tweeted out “I accept” in Taglog to build the speculation of a potential boxing match with Pacquiao.
Update, August 1: In a rare occurrence, McGregor responded to a fan on Twitter, who happened to be Filipino. He thanked the fan for the support and sent love to the Philippines. Notorious also included a boxing glove emoji in his reply. See below:
Thank you Carlito!
Big Love to the Philippines 🇵🇭 ❤️🥊 https://t.co/T4bFK0BUxo
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 2, 2020
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McGregor Has Hinted at Competing Against Manny Pacquiao in the Past
Before McGregor fought Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January, he spoke with ESPN about Pacquiao being a potential opponent. McGregor discussed possibly stepping back into the boxing ring, saying, “I would be open to other boxing bouts. You know that Manny… we’re actually close to signing Manny.”
McGregor said that “There [have] been talks about the Manny fight” and that “There was an offer made on that.” Notorious confirmed that it was “very much” a possibility that they would compete against each other.
Notorious has only competed in one professional boxing match, his 10th-round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. In his last MMA bout, Notorious defeated Cerrone on January 18 — the Irishman announced his retirement in June, his third in four years.
Pacquiao has been out of action for over a year. He last competed in July 2019 when he defeated Keith Thurman and won the WBA (Super) welterweight title.
Notorious Dropped Another Hint About Competing Against Pacquiao After the Filipino Wished Him a Happy Birthday
Thank you Emmanuel, 170. https://t.co/34aoWV5gKI
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 16, 2020
On July 14, McGregor turned 32 years old and Pacquiao wished him a happy birthday on Twitter. McGregor responded, “Thank you Emmanuel, 170.” The tweet was another hint that Notorious intended on competing against the Filipino — McGregor stated the weight class that he has competed at three times in the UFC, 170 pounds.
If the two were to meet in a boxing ring, it is unlikely the two would compete at 170 pounds as Pacquiao is typically a 147-pound boxer. The Filipino is no stranger to fluctuating weight to compete in different weight classes, but 170 may be too much of a jump for the boxing legend.