By: Joe LaSala
Any MMA fan knows that Conor McGregor has been lobbying for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. Conor McGregor is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in MMA and, if this comes to fruition (which many people think it will), there is no way that it can benefit the UFC or the MMA community.
Floyd Mayweather has basically picked apart any opponent he has ever faced. Not to mention he has gone up and down in weight classes to do so. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this fight will go the same way that the only other time MMA faced off against boxing went when Randy Couture vs. James Toney happened. The boxer had no place in the MMA octagon. Just as Conor McGregor will have no place in the boxing ring.
We all saw how fast Couture was able to take advantage of his wrestling to destroy James Toney. Just as Mayweather will be able to use his defensive boxing to destroy McGregor. McGregor couldn’t knock out Nate Diaz with 4 oz. MMA gloves in consecutive fights. What makes him think that he will be able to KO a guy that has never been KOed, let alone lost with boxing gloves? Because we know that he won’t be able to outbox him.
Here lies the problem: If the UFC let’s McGregor do this fight, which I could only see happening if they had an extreme payoff, they will have arguably their biggest star get destroyed on Pay-Per-View while their lightweight title picture now becomes even more confusing. McGregor is the current lightweight champion and the UFC would have to either strip him of the title, or have an interim title fight between two top contenders.
In my mind, what destroyed the popularity of boxing was that there are about 10 champions for every weight class. Which is also what makes the UFC so great. They are undoubtedly the best show in town, and there is only one champion for every weight class. Conor McGregor will now, for the second time, be putting the title picture into question. He will be making everyone wonder who is the real lightweight champion. Not to mention, how he has already left the featherweight title picture up in the air when he decided to rematch Nate Diaz for nothing but pride.
If they can keep him, Conor McGregor is an amazing draw for the UFC. He is brash, outspoken, exciting and an amazing fighter, but if they allow him to leave to get his ass kicked in this freak show of a fight, they will be hurting themselves immensely. And, in the process, they might lose arguably their most popular fighter. If McGregor gets money like Manny Pacquiao did, he may not see the need to ever return to the UFC octagon.