Call up Rakim because Floyd Mayweather is thinking up a "master plan."
In recent weeks the combat sports world has been abuzz with rumors of pound-for-pound boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. coming out of retirement to box UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor, who is currently in a dispute with the UFC, posted to his Twitter a mocked up fight poster showing himself and Mayweather facing off. Since then Mayweather and his team have stirred up interest by commenting about the likelihood of a potential fight. The talk quickly consumed the MMA world and UFC president Dana White responded saying that Mayweather should call him if he really wants to make the fight.
Well it doesn't appear that Mayweather has taken White up on his offer yet, but he is still confident the bout with McGregor will happen. Over the weekend Mayweather, spoke to ESNEWS about the McGregor fight, why he wants to make it happen, and saying it is the only fight he will come out of retirement for.
"If I do fight, it's only against Conor McGregor. That's gonna be my only fight and not against nobody else because this matchup is just so intriguing. You have a fighter against an MMA fighter, one of the best MMA fighters to do combat and stand up and do it. He's a strong fighter and when I look at him fight he's a little faster than I thought he was so if the fight happens I can't overlook the guy. I'm pretty sure - if we make the fight happen - I'm pretty sure he's gonna push me to the limit."
But how to make the fight happen is yet to be determined. McGregor is under contract with the UFC so any bout between the two (barring some intense legal battles) would have to be co-promoted with Zuffa, something the company has been wary of doing in the past. Mayweather offered no answers to that particular impediment but he did say that they had begun to get the ball rolling in preparation for the theoretical bout.
"I'm pretty sure we're gonna have a master plan to make that fight happen. It hasn't happened yet, but we locked down some dates. Me and my team, me and Al Haymon, me and Leonard Ellerbe we locked down some dates in different countries, in different cities in the United States. And you already know what my number is, 100 million [dollars]. That's just the guarantee. We don't talk about my number on the back end."
In a separate interview with Steve Farhood of Showtime Sports, Mayweather mentions that neither venue nor compensation have been decided yet; locking down dates and possible venues is the first step in that direction. But the compensation may be a hang up. The 100 million guarantee plus back end compensation would likely be one major sticking point for the UFC who often appear reluctant to set precedents that future fighters can leverage against them. However, the sheer amount of money the superfight could bring in may override that sensibility. Mayweather certainly believes it would be enormous.
"He's tough. He's a tough competitor. You know every time he goes out there and fights, when he kicks ass he kicks ass in a standup position. So if the fight does happen, I truly believe it's going to be record-breaking...With my numbers for the Pacquiao fight I know we was at 4.6, I know we're somewhere around 5 million now. 5 million homes. Pay per view. And even if we're not at 5 million it sounds good. I know we're over 4.6 so we gonna say 5 million. We probably can break that number. It's possible. Anything is possible."
Mayweather's fight with Manny Pacquiao is the highest grossing pay per view event of all time and while passing it seems unlikely, selling 2-3 million is plausible considering the star power involved and the casual intrigue of the match-up. Selling 2 million would still be the highest grossing pay per view the UFC has been involved with and 3 million would blow their most successful ventures out of the water.
But unlike those other ventures, the UFC would only be getting a portion of that lucrative windfall. As Mayweather noted, he would get paid on the back end of that as would his promotional team, and of course Conor McGregor would take home a goodly sum too. Zuffa has already shown a willingness to pass up on big paydays on principle (whatever those principles may be) when they pulled McGregor from UFC 200. Moreover, Mayweather even mentioned (while talking about Jon Jones) that not all promoters like his business.
"Jon Jones is with the MMA but we still gotta communicate and put some things together, me and him. We'd love Jon Jones to be a part of TMT. We steady growing. And it's not just about us making money it's about the talent winning. That's what we believe and that's why so many promoters hate us and dislike us, because we believe in the talent winning when it's all said and done."
And therein may lie the rub. The UFC believes in the UFC winning. Mayweather obviously stands an enormous amount to gain; he gets to make well over $100 million dollars, move past Rocky Marciano's iconic 49-0 mark to an undefeated record of 50-0, and gets to do so while facing the easiest opponent of his boxing career, likely scoring his first KO since 2011. McGregor also stands to make a substantial amount of money, suffer no real detriment to his personal brand, and propel his Q rating even further through the roof than it already is. But the UFC has less to gain. They give ground to other fighters with regard to co-promotion and pay while also leading their biggest star to certain defeat. Quite reasonably, the UFC may view a fight between McGregor and Mayweather as a long term loss to themselves despite the immediate financial rewards. Regardless, Mayweather remains hopeful.
"I think it's gonna be so entertaining if we can do it, if we can put a boxer with an MMA fighter, because I can't overlook that guy. Me, myself, I'm not gonna overlook him. We haven't made the fight happen yet but if we can tweak a few things I'm pretty sure we can get him, not a good payday but a great payday."
You can view the entire interview below.
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Scandal. Karim Zidan of Bloody Elbow overviews the scandals and troubles surrounding Brazil, which the UFC brought UFC 198 to and sold 45,000 tickets during.
UFC 198 Post-fight presser highlights.
Here is a ridiculously fun fight to get your week started off right.
Absolutely well deserved and fun to peep some highlights.
Bellator highlights ICYMI.
Here's Cowboy talking about Conor, welterweight, skydiving, and Khabib Who Wrestles Bears.
And here's some highlights from Legacy 55 over the weekend.
I actually like this because his event recaps were always good. A little too short this way though.
BATB with Breen and TJ. Always worth a listen.
Wonderboy, what are the secret of your powers?
He sure did. And so begins another week M-Rmy. Tons of tweets for you today.
Stone Cold Stipe could definitely be a fun champion.
It's true I'm awesome. And super humble. https://t.co/AXUgV6iWEt— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) May 15, 2016
This made my day.
I died pic.twitter.com/7rMd4XwNK1— ZombieProphet (@ZPGIFs) May 15, 2016
Definitely not gonna happen though.
Ouch new champ congrats stipe must be a rematch— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 15, 2016
To be fair, Aldo had a dominant angle and disguised his behind a feint.
I've learned a lot from Aldo and now Werdum. I won't be making that mistake! #UFC198— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) May 15, 2016
JBJ lost some money betting on fights this weekend.
Man USADA really did a number on some of these guys— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 15, 2016
Rockhold and Werdum have an old beef so I'm sure he did.
@stipemiocicufc congrats big man! I enjoyed that very much.— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) May 15, 2016
That rematch should be excellent.
Jacare's performance was as expected. Nothing learned, nothing gained.— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) May 16, 2016
Pulling guard on the best jiu-jitsu guy in mma might not have been the smartest idea lol— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) May 15, 2016
This tweet got 1500 retweets in one minute. You may not like the man but a lot people damn sure do.
I run boxing.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 14, 2016
His face does not echo his message here.
Ain't no way she's making 135. 139 looks like it almost killed her.
Nope. Miesha did say she would do a catch weight though.
Impressive performance by @criscyborg tonight!! What a powerful woman! Congrats on making 139lbs! 4 more and we can have a title fight!— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) May 15, 2016
Will Brooks after his release from Bellator.
Thank you. pic.twitter.com/Apk43pGGLa— Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) May 14, 2016
Retirement seems to be treating Mirko Cro Cop well. pic.twitter.com/vXHZfUNH2R— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) May 15, 2016
Only way that fight happens is if they do it while Miesha has the title.
I think they are all great fights... Just think they could stand to hold off on another Ronda vs Miesha 3 for a bit.https://t.co/HHoQzfXpfa— Gina Carano (@ginacarano) May 14, 2016
It didn't take Matt Brown long to change his Facebook profile picture. I for one hope he never changes it again.pic.twitter.com/mDWdXsfOjM— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) May 13, 2016
His Conor is good.
Tom Duquesnoy became a two division champion with this dope elbow KO.
This sort of slipped through the cracks but strict testing may have saved Darren Uyenoyama's life.
Just wanted to say a special thank you to @bellatormma, @carie_aana, @rich_chou, @janeestioko, and Scott Coker for allowing me to be a part of their organization. Through the required testing to fight in California my medical work showed I had a condition that needed to be corrected. The whole Bellator organization has been very supportive as well as @coachrudi and my opponent @cacdac1. I know I'm not fighting tonight but I have to see these events as something that's saved my career and potentially my life. Bellator is truely a promotion that puts the fighters first and something I want to be a part of for a long time. #bellator154 #illbeback #mma #bjj #valetudo #csaarmy #csagym #ftcclife #ftccarmy #sanjose #sapcenter
Kadyrov was very wrong about Miocic having no chance of winning it seems.
Dear FRIEND and BROTHER, Fabrício! @werdum I know that today, at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, in the main fight of the evening you fight against Stipe Miocic. You will face a strong opponent, but he has no chance of winning! You're a lot stronger! And not just physically, but also in willpower and spirit! In your chest beats the heart of a courageous, brave, strong-willed fighter, who isn't afraid of no one. We believe in you, we cheer for you, and know that we're all willing you on! Dear brother, we know each other very well, and hence, I believe it gives me the right to say that, although you're from Latin America, that you really love, but we consider you as a Caucasian! I am sure that very soon, the whole world will know about your victory. It cannot be otherwise! Because the whole Chechnya, and legendary Fight Club "Akhmat" is with you and supports you! #Kadyrov #Russia #Brazil #Chechnya #Werdum #UFC198 #UFC #fight #Miocic #Brother #Friend #FightShow
Cro Cop must've been conflicted. His Croatian buddy KO's his old BJJ coach.
Now this guy is gonna keep this belt for a long long time! @StipeMiocicUFC, you are no joke my friend! #UFC198: #StipeMiocic defeated #FabricioWerdum at 2:47 of the 1st round via KO to be the new UFC heavyweight champion ____________________________ #Mirko #CroCop #Filipović #MirkoCroCop #MirkoFilipović #CroatianCop #CroatianPride #CroatianSensation #Croatia #Croatian #Hrvatska #Japan #KickBoxing #K1 #MMA #PRIDE #PrideFC #UFC #BJJ #Highlights #HighKick #HeadKick #KO #LiverKick #LeftKickCemetery #LeftLegCemetery #CroCopHiglights
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1996: Bas Rutten defended his Pancrase open weight championship, defeating interim King of Pancrase Frank Shamrock via TKO at Pancrase: Truth 5. Also at the event, kickboxing legend Semmy Schilt made his MMA debut, submitting Manabu Yamada via rear-naked choke.
2003: Jeremy Horn became the King of the Cage light heavyweight champion, defeating champion Vernon White via unanimous decision at KOTC: 23: Sin City.
2015: UFC middleweight Mark Muñoz retired after defeating Luke Barnatt via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 66. In the main event of the evening, Frankie Edgar blanked Urijah Faber over 25 minutes, winning a;; 5 rounds in a unanimous decision and building his case for another shot at the UFC featherweight championship.
1986: UFC bantamweight Anthony Birchak
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.