'The Immortal' has spoken.
Conor McGregor is the bright burning star around which the MMA world orbits. Since his withdrawal from UFC 200 barely a day has gone by without McGregor stirring up new talking points and last week that talking point came in the form of rumors that McGregor was in talks to box Floyd Mayweather. Though Dana White quickly shot the rumor down, that hasn't stopped rampant speculation about how such a thing could come to pass and, as with all things McGregor, other professional fighters were asked to comment on the situation.
Matt Brown was one of those fighters. This week, Brown went on SiriusXM Fight Club and spoke with Steve Cofield about Tyron Woodley's title shot, his upcoming fight with Maia, and McGregor's chances against Mayweather.
"[Conor McGregor] will never beat Mayweather in his life at boxing. He could train for his whole life, I mean there's guys like Canelo or Pacquiao - guys who have trained their entire life only boxing - they're some of the best boxers in the world and didn't come close to beating Mayweather.
"McGregor's not even that good of a boxer. I don't know why people would even think that this fight should be made. It's insane to me because he's not even really a good boxer. You have to be an insanely good boxer to even hang with Mayweather. I think it's kind of disrespectful to Mayweather. You know it's just a lot of talk ... the two of them just want to stay in the news and be relevant still. Maybe if they do make it it's for a money thing. It's not really an interesting fight by any means."
If the sole purpose of the rumor was for publicity it has worked phenomenally well; as evidenced by Brown being asked to offer an opinion on it at all so close to his own fight which is actually happening soon, is significantly more competitive, and is far more relevant from a sporting stand point. Brown fights Demian Maia this Saturday in a clash of ranked welterweights, possibly setting up the winner for a title eliminator later this summer.
But only possibly. The winner of the Stephen Thompson-Rory MacDonald fight taking place in mid-June will also have an excellent argument for being made the number one contender as would Carlos Condit who lost a disputed split decision to the current champion Robbie Lawler in January. How it all shakes out is yet to be determined because of the current backlog of viable title contenders in the welterweight division, a backlog created in part because Tyron Woodley is set to face the champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 201, something which Brown also commented on.
"If you're not in there being active you should drop in the rankings. You should. That's the natural course of things. I dropped two or three spots in the rankings and I can't complain about that. It's not the wrong thing to happen. Why should I be over someone that's been fighting? I think Ty Woodley is a perfect example. Somehow he's getting this title shot and completely undeservedly so. There's no reason whatsoever when you've been inactive for that long."
Though it is mostly not his fault, Woodley will be out of the cage for 18 months by the time he steps in to face Robbie Lawler. Woodley's last fight was a split decision victory of Kelvin Gastelum last January. He was scheduled to face Johny Hendricks in a title eliminator bout in October but Hendricks was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a bad weight cut, causing Dana White to give Woodley the title shot by default. Since then Woodley's ranking has remained firmly in the top five. Over roughly that same period of time Brown has seen his ranking drop as Maia and Neil Magny put together excellent win streaks and surged past him in the rankings.
But Matthew Burton Brown is not one to wallow in self pity. Dating all the way back to his Ultimate Fighter days Brown has carried with him a reputation as a hard-working, rugged man and now is no different. He remains focused on the task at hand which is to work his way towards a title shot. To do so he'll have to go through Maia, a fighter he admits is the "worst match-up" for him in the division. However, Brown is confident he can beat Maia and because of his time away from the octagon this past year and his attitude.
"What happens in your life is just all about how you take it. I turn it all into positivity and I believe I'm gonna come back this Saturday and be the best Matt Brown you've ever seen and that's because I took this time and used it positively."
Matt Brown fights Demian Maia in the headliner of the Fox Sports 1 prelims for UFC 198 this Saturday.
The excerpt discussing McGregor can be listened to below.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Ask for a lawyer. Diego Brandao admits to having a gun outside of the strip club in his interrogation tape.
He's 10 feet tall and made from railroad ties. Matt Brown wanted to fight Demian Maia because he is "the worst match-up" for him.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
8 percent. Jordan Breen of Sherdog talks about the UFC's new weight cutting rule and its potential ramifications.
Diego Brandao saying he did pull a gun, originally reported by TMZ.
The best wrestling is knockouts.
I actually agree with one of these things for once.
Cejudo and Benavidez on Fox Sports Live
Firas Zahabi and Robin Black breaking down the main event.
Talking to Dustin Poirier.
Joey Beltran, Dhiego Lima, and JZ Cavalcante.
Is there previous beef here I'm unaware of?
Little Roman... Life will demand balance from you... No better place to learn that than in your grandpa's hands. ;-)pic.twitter.com/69QQeAuAHq— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) May 12, 2016
Leslie Smith is awesome but this graph looks real bad for her.
3 times in 5 days is pretty nuts.
Who would have ever thought that guy would turn into one of the baddest dudes on the planet?
Cyborg and Werdum have fought on the same card before and it worked out well for them.
The most MMA thing.
Traditional Karate is definitely the best defense.
Gray Maynard (11-5-1) vs. Fernando Bruno (15-3-0); UFC: The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, July 8.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1995: Ken Shamrock lost his King of Pancrase title when he submitted to a kneebar by Minoru Suzuki at Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 4. Also at the event, Bas Rutten submitted future UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith with a kneebar.
2006: Urijah Faber successfully defended his King of the Cage bantamweight championship (145 lbs.) by submitting Charlie Valencia with a rear-naked choke in the first round at King of the cage: Predator.
2007: UFC strawweight Seo Hee Ham received her first professional MMA loss when she was submitted by future Deep lightweight champion and women's MMA great Miku Matsumoto at Deep: clubDeep Toyama: Barbarian Festival 6.
2010: Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard annihilated Jay Silva with punches six seconds into the first round at Bellator 18. The bout was a non-title catchweight fight at 190 lbs. Here's the video for your brief viewing pleasure:
1986: Bellator light heavyweight Guilherme Viana.
1979: UFC veteran Fredson Paixao
Think I missed a spot? Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.