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Morning Report: Floyd Mayweather to Conor McGregor: ‘There’s a lot of barking, but no biting’

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If MMA fighters can learn one thing from Floyd Mayweather Jr., it should be the ability to constantly keep their names in the headlines.

Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor are, theoretically, going to fight at some point in the future. Their potential superfight has been one of the major talking points in combat sports for the better part of the last year and both sides have consistently said they want to make the fight happen. And though the amount of money to be made on such a spectacle seems to be enough to potentially force the UFC to acquiesce to co-promotion, the bout is nowhere closer to being booked as far as anyone knows. So, in lieu of actual fisticuffs, Mayweather and McGregor can be found periodically firing shots at one another, keeping the buzz about the fight alive.

A few days ago, Mayweather, seemingly tired of the ever present questions about boxing McGregor, told the Irish champion to “sign the paper.” Then yesterday, in an interview with FightHype, Mayweather doubled down on the comments, saying that McGregor is all talk and no action.

“I think that, a lot of times with competitors and athletes and fighters, we can ask for certain things that we really don’t want. I want to fight, I want to fight. There’s a lot of barking but there’s no biting. When you talk about biting, sign the contract. Don’t talk the s**t. If you really want to fight, sign the contract and we can make it happen.

“So just letting the world know that he’s full of s**t and he don’t really want to fight. ‘Oh, I want to fight, I want to fight, I want to fight. Mayweather’s scared of me.’ Listen, I’m my own boss, so let’s make the fight happen. You talking all that s**t, you acting like you want to fight, I don’t think you really want to fight. Sign the contract, let’s make it happen.”

Mayweather faced similar accusations himself throughout his career, presenting himself as a willing opponent but, to many eyes, avoiding tough challenges. However, what sometimes appears to fans to be ducking an opponent, often turns out to just be a matter of leverage to secure the best financial outcome for a fighter. After all, over the course of his career, no fighter has ever been so successful at ensuring their own financial security from a fight than Floyd Mayweather.

But Mayweather says things weren’t always that way for him, he had to work himself up to that point. And while McGregor may fancy himself the main attraction in this superfight, Mayweather says the UFC champion needs to learn to walk before he can run, because right now, McGregor has no leverage.

“You belong to the UFC and you don’t own anything. Don’t bid yourself out. Just make the fight happen. Just like when I went out and I competed, at one particular time, I had to be the B side. I didn’t cry, I didn’t complain. When they brought the money to the table, I took it, kicked a**, and became the A side. Now I’m the A side, come kick my a** and you become the A side. . .

“At one particular time, I was the B side. When they made me an offer, I didn’t cry, I didn’t complain, I took the offer and went out there and fought and became the A side. When I became the A side, I demanded what I wanted. He cannot demand anything because he’s not in a position to demand anything. If we offer you, or your team offers you, a certain amount of money - I don’t know what it is - take it.”

Though McGregor is enormously popular, Mayweather is the bigger star for the purposes of this bout, giving him the leverage. His fights have topped one million pay-per-view buys eight times, with another three breaking 900,000 buys. McGregor has only topped the one million mark four times. Then there’s also the fact that Mayweather is worth several hundred million dollars and doesn’t need to fight McGregor at all, whereas Mayweather is certainly the most lucrative option for McGregor.

“With or without Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather is still going to get seven figures every month for the rest of his life and still live a lavish life,” said Mayweather.

So with Mayweather seemingly holding most of the cards here, he ended his McGregor talk with a message to his potential foe, one primed for headlines:

“Conor McGregor, stop blowing smoke up peoples’ a****, you little b**ch. If you want to fight, let’s make it happen you punk.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Miss. Mackenzie Dern was unable to make 115 pounds, had to have her fight changed to a catchweight bout.

Fine. California proposed an increased fine for fighters missing weight.

Changes. Vitor Belfort reflects on the changes in MMA over his 20 years in the sport.

Interim. Edson Barboza says a rematch with Tony Ferguson for an interim title makes sense.

Plans. Kelvin Gastelum says he knows how to beat Tyron Woodley.


MEDIA STEW

Some sort of mystery jellybean challenge.

Roy Nelson on TMZ.

Jake Ellenberger and Mike Perry mix it up on Chael’s show.

Gunni interview.

No pool noodles here.

Kron Gracie vlog.


LISTEN UP

Fight Society.

Submission Radio.

Cyborg interview.

Listen to my interview on the 100th episode of the MMA Viewpoint Podcast just released

Posted by Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos on Thursday, March 9, 2017

TWEETS

Peak MMA.

Please @lukerockhold if your sexually frustrated, take it elsewhere. #ktfo #andnew #andstill #deepburn

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

Unhappy about that Edgar-Rodriguez matchup.

Respect.

Cool reaction shot.

That would be great.

Conor.

Reminder.

Someone’s happy about fighters making less money.

Bro down.

And Lauzon just got booked for a fight too.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Joe Lauzon (27-12) vs. Stevie Ray (20-6); UFC Fight Night: Nashville, April 22.

Frankie Edgar (21-5-1) vs. Yair Rodriguez (10-1); UFC 211, May 13.

Antonio Carlos Junior (7-2, 1 NC) vs. Eric Spicely (10-1); UFC 212, June 3.

Johnny Eduardo (28-10) vs. MAtthew Lopez (9-1); UFC 212, June 3.

Marco Beltran (6-4) vs. Deiveson Alcantara (11-0); UFC 212, June 3.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

1995: Ken Shamrock defended his King of Pancrase title for the first time, submitting Bas Rutten with a kneebar at Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 2.

2000: Future UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne made his UFC debut, winning a unanimous decision over Fabiano Iha at UFC 24. The event was supposed to be headlined by a heavyweight title bout between Kevin Randleman and Pedro Rizzo but Randleman slipped on a pipe backstage, knocking himself unconscious and preventing the bout.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Quote that got mostly left out from Mayweather above:

“We gonna fight, regardless, standing up, because real men fight standing up. I’m from the old school. I’m not gonna kick my shoes off, I’m not gonna be between no man’s legs, wrestling on the ground, I’m gonna stand up and I’m gonna kick a**. That’s what I do.”

Wouldn’t be combat sports without a little latent homophobia shoved in there. Anyway, it’s fight weekend, folks. Tomorrow, instead of watching Shogun and Vitor fight an old man bout, we possibly (probably?) have to see two legends get stretchered. Prepare accordingly.

Enjoy the scraps and see y’all on Monday.


If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.