Not a day goes by where this potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing bout doesn’t appear on one of my social media timelines. Or someone texts me about it. Or I don’t mention it on the Fightful MMA Podcast. Yes, I’m guilty, but hear me out.
If this bout actually does come to fruition, the ramifications, both positive and negative could be game changing.
UFC welterweight veteran Sean Pierson made some fantastic points during his sting on the podcast, as did UFC Hall of Famer Frank Trigg. If you missed those two podcasts earlier this week, I highly recommend you make some quick time to listen to what they had to say.
The consensus we all pretty much came to agree upon were many, but namely that once McGregor gets that Mayweather money, he’s likely never coming back to the UFC. Except, perhaps, under one circumstance.
First things first: if Conor can generate over $25M, $50M or heck, let’s just say $75M for this fight, is he really going to go back to competing for max $10M for the UFC? At the very best, he would be taking a 50% pay cut. At the worst, a near 85% pay cut?
You can rest assured that there is no way the UFC would pay him that kind of money, unless the rest of the card, including perhaps the co-main event, would be made of fighters we have been accustomed to seeing on UFC Fight Pass, or at the very best, FS1. It pains me to say it, but do the math for a moment and you will see what I’m saying here.
If the UFC does not prevent McGregor from fighting Mayweather, we would have to assume that they have set a precedent for all other fighters on the roster to consider boxing as an alternate or dare I say, alternative revenue stream.
I am a firm believe the UFC sees massive dollar signs in getting in and getting behind the mega pay per view, but it’s likely a short term (massive gain) for some serious long term pain. Plenty of damage would be done if this fight does take place, unless of course, they swallow the pill labeled “Conor is done with us” and continue business as usual. Then again …
What will the other stars on the roster have to say? What will they want to do? I’m talking Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Ronda Rousey (she’s still under contract), etc, etc.?
The biggest “what if” right now isn’t necessarily what Dana White has been saying lately, specifically that there still needs to be plenty of work to be done, to make this mega scrap happen. He cited lots of big egos and many, many people involved with the negotiations. Trigg and I also discussed the venue and distribution platform. Lots of work still to be done, but it is likely already happening as we speak.
Now I did mention there may be one circumstance where Conor would come back and take a personal pay cut but a massive raise within the UFC. That’s if he actually beats Floyd Mayweather. Although slim, he does have a real chance at taking out the 49-0 legend.
If he could pull it off, he would go down as the biggest MMA star of all time and be thrust onto MMA’s Mount Rushmore. He would be the one to (temporarily) silence the Boxing vs. MMA argument. He would be revered as potentially the greatest combat sports athlete of all time. Read that line again, and don’t kid yourself. It would be true.
Conor could end up being bigger than the UFC. Bigger than MMA and bigger than Boxing. And he can do it. But perhaps he may never ever compete under either banner again, unless, the highest bidder puts forth what would then be labelled “McGregor Money”.
I’ll be honest … this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what could happen if this bout actually does take place. Unfortunately, I currently see it as bad news for the UFC.