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Fightweets: The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor saga carries on

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Another Bellator event is in the books, the UFC will swing back into action next weekend, and you guys and gals want to talk ... Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.

Alrighty then. I’ll admit I’ve downplayed the potential superfight, but you keep asking, moreso this week than any other, so I’ll give the people what they want. Off we go ...

Why would Mayweather want this fight?

@BreadandWater94: You know McGregor wants this fight because of biggest payday for him... but what does Mayweather get? He's already rich?

He is. But the greatest boxer of his generation also enjoys spending money as much as he enjoys making it. He’s going to be 40 soon, so the window is closing on his ability to make the mega paydays that enable his lifestyle. And he’s already exhausted the supply of boxers with whom he can make the gigantic paydays of which he’s grown accustomed.

As far as boxing opponents with whom he could be conceivably matched, he’s already beaten nearly everyone of name value and done so in a matter that didn’t leave the masses wanting rematches with any of them. Then you look at McGregor, the hottest thing in mixed martial arts, not only do you have a fresh, sellable opponent, but most importantly, unlike some of the dullards Mayweather has fought in recent years, McGregor is going to do uphold his end of the promotional bargain and do more than his fair share to sell the fight.

Now, throw in the fact that McGregor’s a boxing neophyte competing under Floyd’s rules. On paper, at least, this should be Mayweather’s easiest fight in eons. Huge money, big publicity, and what should be the victory that pushes him to 50-0. If you’re Mayweather, what’s not to love about this?

Why aren’t MMA fighters siding with Conor?

@BookieSumner: What do you think of all these MMA fighters siding with Floyd over Conor in their potential boxing match?

Because they’re realists? McGregor, without a professional boxing match under his belt, is looking to fight one of the greatest competitors in boxing history under boxing rules.

Should this fight come off — and while it’s a lot closer to reality than we ever imagined it will be, substantial hurdles remain — it will be the flip side of the Randy Couture-James Toney fight at UFC 118. Couture’s win over Toney under mixed martial arts rules didn’t prove anything other than what will usually happen when a combat sports fighter in one sport compete’s under someone else’s rules (There are, of course, exceptions which prove every rule). Mayweather-McGregor will simply be the other side of the coin.

As a whole, MMA types have been more respectful toward boxing types than vice versa over the years. They know a Conor loss under boxing rules doesn’t change anything, just like Toney’s inability to beat Couture under MMA rules didn’t prove anything, so why wouldn’t they admit the obvious about Mayweather and McGregor?


@DanielRChargers: Why do we act like Bellator events are fun? Is it boredom? Is it the prehistoric feel?

Or maybe another possibility is, you know, when these events go right, they’re actually fun? I’ll be the first to grant you that when Bellator’s tentpole events go awry, they can be pretty excruciating. If they schedule their next Dynamite event for 300,000 years from now, that will still be 700,000 years too soon. I never again want to have an MMA event grind to a halt midstream for what seems like hours of C-level kickboxing before a crowd that doesn’t want to see kickboxing.

But on the nights when things work, like they did for Bellator 170 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., they really work. The mix of factors like a big and lively crowd, the unique event presentation, Tito Ortiz’s final fight, Paul Daley’s killer knockout of Brennan Ward, which helped build his fight with Rory MacDonald, all combined to make for a memorable evening.

Part of Scott Coker’s charm, going all the way back to the beginnings of Strikeforce, is that the guy isn’t afraid to take chances. Sometimes he’ll step to the plate and knock one out of the park; sometimes he looks like that batter who takes a rip at what he expects to be a 100 MPH heater but gets a knuckleball instead. But he’s not afraid to try, and it gives us something different than the UFC’s cookie-cutter productions, so maybe Coker should get more credit for what he’s done.

Gangster vs. Emperor?

@ZWabson: Sonnen vs Fedor do you think it happens?

Well, Chael Sonnen is damn well doing his best to make sure it does. West Linn’s finest is always thinking a couple steps down the road, so it was no coincidence he started taking little jabs at Fedor Emelinaneko when the two were seated together at Tuesday’s BellatorNYC press conference. Emelianenko replied that he was unamused, which is as close to trash talk as we’re ever going to get from him. Sonnen knows there are realistically only so many fights he has left before his act wears thin, and that Emelianenko has only so many fights that make sense as well. So, yes, despite all the reasons we could get into on why this fight would be wrong, don’t be surprised at all if it gets made sometime down the road.

Cody Garbrandt’s ambitions

@ArpanLobo: Could Garbrandt really beat MM at 125 or Aldo at 45? Seems like he's pushing it.

The UFC bantamweight champion made some waves this week in an interview Onnit CEO Aubrey Marcus. In hit, he volunteered to go down to flyweight to fight Demetrious Johnson, should Mighty Mouse get past Wilson Reis and tie Anderson Silva’s UFC title defense record. He also made some noise about fighting the winner of Jose Aldo and Max Holloway.

Now, granted, Garbrandt has one hell of a challenge ahead of him when he meets T.J. Dillashaw later this year. But that said, I really like Garbrandt’s ambitions. So many headline fighters are getting increasingly desperate in angling for "money fights" that the term is starting to lose meaning. Garbrandt isn’t casting out for some weird fight without meaning. He’s saying he wants to pursue other titles and is willing to engage other champions in their own weight class. It might be a tad premature, but that’s exactly the drive that pushed Garbrandt to beat Dominick Cruz and I’m pleased to see that winning a title so early in his career hasn’t done anything to change his motivations to be the best.

Bellator 175

@HawksopinionMMA: Should King Mo be happy with that performance?

I think so. A large portion of the fan base has decided they don’t like Mo no matter what he does, so I can’t blame him for not caring too much about putting on a show at this stage of the game. Mo was giving up a ridiculous amount of weight. He’s not all that big for a light heavyweight in the first place. Rampage can still hit like a truck, as he proved during that one stretch of the second round where he rocked Lawal and had him backpedaling. There weren’t too many ways for Lawal to look good in that fight, so he went with the surest route to victory and got the win.

@MRich618: UFC let Rampage stay fat and fight at Heavyweight?

Quinton Jackson is now under contract to the UFC, as Friday night’s loss to King Mo Lawal was the final bout of his Bellator deal, and Jackson was playing out his contract under the terms of the settlement of his legal dispute.

The question is whether Jackson wants to fight at all. The former UFC light heavyweight champion took a five-fight win streak into this bout, but it seemed like the least inspiring such streak in the history of the sport. He’s looked listless and disinterested in his recent fights, and he hasn’t been to 205 since his win over Lawal in their first fight three years ago.

So, does Jackson even want to do this anymore? Not only has he put in disinterested performances in recent fights, but he was the butt of all sorts of jokes when he came in at 253. Twitter seemed like an endless parade of "Yo momma so fat, they call her ‘Rampage!’"-type cracks over the past 24 hours. Maybe the UFC deal he’s on, signed in the Zuffa era, is for too much money to say no. But it’s hard to see why fans should get excited about a Rampage fight when he’s not excited about fighting himself.

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