You’ll get different answers from different people when asking about the likelihood of a Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather boxing match. People originally considered it nothing more than a publicity stunt, but that opinion has changed over the past month to the point where most credible sources aren’t wondering if it will happen but when.
Unless you happen to be UFC president Dana White, who has spent the past few months thinking up new and interesting ways of saying it’s never gonna happen. Our favorite version came at the end of January when White compared the chances of Mayweather-McGregor to him “being the backup quarterback for Brady on [Super Bowl] Sunday.”
Today’s denial is much less flashy but a lot more functional, as it spells out what the UFC wants next for McGregor in explicit terms.
“I don’t know where we’re at,” White said when a TMZ reporter questioned him about the progress of McGregor vs. Mayweather. “We’re nowhere. We’re nowhere with it. I expect Conor’s next fight to be in the UFC, in mixed martial arts and the winner of Khabib vs. Ferguson.”
All these refusals to even consider this potential billion dollar fight has us wondering … why does Dana White seem so against putting together the biggest match up in the history of combat sports? Doesn’t he like money? Lots and lots of money? We suppose he figures there’s more to be made if Conor doesn’t cross over to boxing and get embarrassed by one of the greatest technicians in that sport.
He’s also undoubtedly trying to build up the hype for UFC 209 on March 4th which features the Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson fight for an interim version of Conor McGregor’s lightweight belt. That’s a fight you definitely don’t want to miss, but we have our doubts that the indignity of having another man walking around with a second lightweight title will push McGregor back into the cage when he’s chasing a nine figure payday with Floyd.
For better or worse, McGregor seems locked in on fighting Mayweather. The big questions now are if he’ll fight the UFC first to make it happen, if he’ll win, and what happens in an aftermath where all those bridges get burnt.