When rumors about a boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather surfaced a year ago it seemed like most prominent mixed martial artists and boxers scoffed at the idea of the proposed super fight.
Considering Mayweather retired following his last fight and McGregor had never laced up his gloves for a professional boxing match, the skepticism was understandable.
Fast forward to today where McGregor and Mayweather appear closer than ever to inking a deal on a super fight that will likely become one of the most lucrative contests in the history of combat sports and at least one UFC champion and one former champion are now on board to watch the matchup unfold.
“I think it’s a phenomenal thing for the UFC,” UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley said about the fight on “UFC Tonight.” “It’s a phenomenal thing for combat sports. Anytime you can bring boxing and MMA together in common sports, I think it’s a great opportunity.
“These guys are the top of the top in their divisions. I think this fight on paper may not be the most stylistic matchup but in general, I think it’s a great fight. It’s going to bring in a lot of money.”
Much like UFC president Dana White, who recently changed his tune by saying that he finally believes McGregor versus Mayweather will happen if for no other reason than the monetary gain all sides stand to make off the fight, Woodley seems to agree with him.
The obscene about of money that McGregor, Mayweather and their respective promoters will earn from the fight will end up with astronomical figures and there may be no bigger selling point than that to make the bout come together.
“We’re fighting over millions of dollars. These guys are going into the tens of millions of dollars and Floyd’s going into the hundreds of millions,” Woodley said. “So I think it’s a fight that needs to take place.”
Former UFC champion Luke Rockhold also weighed in on the proposed matchup between McGregor and Mayweather and he completely understands why both parties appear primed to make the fight happen.
“I think it’s a fight that needs to take place. I think it’s better for boxing. I don’t think it hurts the UFC though,” Rockhold said. “I think it’s going to put us on the map. A fight of this magnitude is just going to do everything for fighting in general.
“I’ll be watching. Good for them making the dollars.”
On paper, McGregor would walk into the fight as a massive underdog.
While the current UFC lightweight champion has earned several high-profile knockouts during his MMA career, he’s never stepped into a ring for a professional boxing match much less faced off with arguably one of the best of all time in Mayweather.
Still, Rockhold feels like this is a win-win for McGregor because no one is going to expect him to win but if he shocks the world and defeats Mayweather his legendary status grows even bigger. On the flipside, if McGregor loses he can still return to the UFC where he’s already the biggest superstar in the history of the sport.
“Win or lose I don’t think it really hurts [McGregor],” Rockhold said. “I mean if he loses, he loses to Floyd Mayweather and he comes back to fighting, comes back to MMA and he’s a two division champion.