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Morning Report: Chael Sonnen says giving Conor McGregor a chance against Floyd Mayweather is an ‘incredible disrespect to boxing’

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Bellator 170 Media Day

This week, UFC president Dana White informed the huddled masses that he believes a boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will actually happen. It was a change of pace from White’s previous and continuous insistence that Mayweather wasn’t actively trying to make the fight happen because he laughed at White’s offer of $25 million dollars (Mayweather made $700 million in career earnings).

So now, as the greatest cross-promotional spectacle in combat sports appears to be drawing closer to reality, every pundit, fighter, and fan is taking the opportunity to weigh in on the great philosophical question of our time: can a man who has never boxed professionally beat the greatest boxer of his generation?

Three-time UFC title challenger and ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen had some thoughts on the matter, and he shared them recently on his podcast, You’re Welcome.

“I think the fact that anybody is weighing in that there’s a contest there is such an incredible disrespect to boxing. If that fight goes more than 30 seconds, it shames boxing. If it goes out of the first round, it humiliates boxing.

“If I was to tell you in any other sport, ‘Hey, we’ve got a great athlete from one field, that’s never done a sport before, and he’s gonna come on and take on the best current living guy in that sport,’ it’d be laughed at. If I told you, I’ve got a guy who’s never played basketball, sure he’s shot the ball around and been on a court and had the ball in his hand, but he’s never played a competitive game of basketball before, and we’re gonna put him up against LeBron James, it would be laughed at. ‘We’ve got a gal that’s never played tennis before, she’s fooled around with a ball in the gym, she’s gonna take on Serena Williams,’ it would be laughed at.

“The fact that there’s even an interest there - and I’m one of the people that shares the interest - but the fact that there’s even an interest there is so disrespectful to the entire sport of boxing. When that fight’s done, Conor is gonna go more than 30 seconds. He’s likely to go more than one round - he shouldn’t, but he is likely to go more than one round - and it’s going to humiliate boxing.”

Sonnen went on to clarify that he does believe the fight will happen and that he is interested in the promotional aspects of the fight. Then, last night, Tweeted that the bout is set.

If true, announcing Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather on St. Patrick’s Day would be an excellent example of the promotional excitement that Sonnen is interested in.


MUST-READ STORIES

Top-10. Lorenz Larkin has left the UFC and signed with Bellator MMA.

Global. The UFC announced upcoming events in Scotland, Poland, and the Netherlands.

No way, Jose. Jose Aldo responded to Max Holloway’s claims he would “take over” Rio.

Double the fun. Ronaldo Souza is hoping for a double knockout in Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre.

Respect. Alex Oliveira thinks his submission of Tim Means will silence the doubters.


MEDIA STEW

Dana on MayGregor.

Dana on fighting with Tito.

Gunni’s answer to the first question is gold.

The talking heads on Dana’s latest.

GGG hath spoken.

Fan promo of Silva-Gastelum.

Lobov interview.


LISTEN UP

Extra rounds.

MMA Mad.


TWEETS

The world according to Chael.

WME-IMg letting a lot of exciting, top-10 talent go.

You mean to tell me Dana is incorrect about something?

Didn’t think I could think less of Floyd as a person.

Conor-Floyd shade?

Twitter beef.

Emoji use.

Google.

Friends.

Neat.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Aljamain Sterling (12-2) vs. Augusto Mendes (6-1); UFC on Fox 24, April 15.

Ali Bagautinov (15-6) vs. Tyson Nam (14-8-1); Fight Nights Global, April 29.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2006: Urijah Faber won the WEC featherweight championship by stopping Cole Escovedo at WEC 19.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I highly, highly doubt Chael has some inside scoop here. But just in case, keep it locked to MMAFighting to find out. Other than that, Happy St. Patrick’s Day y’all and enjoy the weekend.


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.