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Morning Report: Dana White says Conor McGregor plans to knock out Floyd Mayweather ‘within four rounds’

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Dana White
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Today, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor will kick off their media world tour promoting their Aug. 26 boxing match. Their first press conference will be held in Los Angeles before moving to Toronto, then New York, then ending in London. The four-day media extravaganza is arguably the most anticipated part of the matchup as it will pit two master self-promoters against one another on their most even playing field: the microphone.

Ahead of the ensuing media blitz, UFC President Dana White went on Fox Sports 1’s Speak For Yourself where he discusses the potential mind games McGregor is likely to play against Mayweather and how effective the mental warfare will be against the all time boxing great.

“Mayweather is very poised and controlled. Mayweather’s a really smart guy. As I got into the deal - he’s surrounded by a lot of smart people too, which made it much easier to get the deal done than I thought it would. I deal with a lot of people that think they’re smart and they’re not and it makes it a lot harder.

“I always respected Floyd. Floyd and I have had our moments in the public here and there but I’ve always respected Floyd and Al Haymon is a very smart guy. Very smart guy. It was actually a pleasure doing business with him.

“But Conor is a madman. Conor is a madman. He’s gonna let Floyd know what he’s gonna do and how he’s gonna do it and everybody’s been saying to me this whole time, “‘Do you think that Conor can really beat Floyd Mayweather?’ Pacquiao just got beat by a school teacher, okay.”

Pacquiao recently dropped an extremely contentious decision to Jeff Horn, a former Olympic boxer with an undefeated professional record of 17-0-1 (at the time the two fought) who spent much of his professional career also working as physical education teacher. White went on to say that he agreed the decision was a bad one but reaffirmed that he still believes McGregor can do the impossible.

“I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago.

“Last night I landed at LAX and Conor landed at the same time from Ireland. We both landed at the same time and I was waiting for him to get out of the plane. He gets off a flight from Ireland, looks like he was just fitted at Armani, walks off the plan and says, ‘I will knock this man out within four rounds.”’

And that bit of confident self-promotion is why White is so confident in the success of this bout. For years, White insisted that the UFC would never co-promote an event, a stance which cost them some of the sport’s greatest fighters at one time (while the UFC is not involved in the actual promotion of this bout, they did have to sign off on McGregor’s involvement). Being involved in something like this is a circumstance White says he couldn’t have foreseen but now views as an opportunity that will better everyone involved and elevate combat sports in general.

“No, of course [I didn’t expect to be involved in a boxing match]. But unlike other promoters out there who like to go around and s**t on everybody else’s fights, I think this is good for combat sports. I think this is a good fight for combat sports. Other people out there - Oscar De La Hoya - are saying that this thing will be bad for boxing. Yet he wanted to do Canelo vs. McGregor, let’s put that out there. This is great for combat sports. It’s like when Floyd and Manny had that huge fight and pulled that massive number, first of all, you look at it and you go, ‘Good for them.’ No. 2, that shows me the bar. That shows me where the bar can be set with the right fight at the right place at the right time.”

And White believes this is that right fight. Aside from having the novelty of boxing vs. MMA, you also have two of the most charismatic stars in the history of professional fighting along with massive cultural support which figures to add up to a historic evening for everyone involved.

“The Irish thing is so big. Me and my partner Lorenzo, when we first met Conor McGregor and we felt it with him. We felt that energy and that buzz within the Irish community. . . It’s the Irish thing. The Irish thing is big. Yes, you have an African American who is arguably the greatest of all time against an off the charts charismatic, incredibly hard-punching Irish fighter. It’s huge.”

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor face off in a boxing match on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nev.


MUST-READ STORIES

Bellator. Gegard Mousasi has left the UFC and signed with Bellator.

Burn. Yoel Romero fires back at Michael Bisping for ripping the Cuban flag at UFC 213.

Believe. Valentina Shevchenko doesn’t “100 percent believe” Amanda Nunes about UFC 213 withdrawal.

Forfeit. Chael Sonnen believes there should be a forfeit clause in MMA after UFC 213.

Appeal. Fabricio Werdum plans to appeal his loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 213.


VIDEO STEW

Extended preview of Cormier-Jones 2.

Conor now has some real ammo for their first press meeting.

Schaub and Ranallo.

TTTHS.

Gaethje on TMZ calling out McGregor.

Michael Buffer trying to big up his brother for the MayGregor fight.

Floyd before the media storm.


LISTEN UP

Severe MMA. UFC 213 and the TUF 25 Finale plus Mousasi discussion.

Brit Pack. Mousasi to Bellator, UFC weekend, and MayGregor media tour talks.

Anik and Flo. UFC 213 recap plus Angela Hill and James Vick drop in.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

The big news.

Rematch!

Yoel’s response to Bisping.

Sadly, they will never fight.

Nicely summed up.

Dustin’s response is angry.

The Bellator NYC work paid dividends.

Frankie is The Answer.

Get over to twitter to get your vote in #blessedera

A post shared by Max Holloway (@blessedmma) on

The eternal beef.

Borg getting antsy.

MJ mending fences. And he’s right, barring something spectacular, that is going to be a unanimous Fight of the Year.

Call out.

Conor teasing a movie.

Here is another power move for you to get excited about. Happy Monday.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Emily Ducote (5-2) vs. Jessica Middleton (2-1); Bellator 181, July 14.

Joseph Morales (8-0) vs. Roberto Sanchez (7-0); UFC Fight Night: Mexico City, Aug. 5.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2009: Brock Lesnar stopped Frank Mir to retain his UFC heavyweight title at UFC 100. Also that evening, Georges St-Pierre won a unanimous decision over Thiago Alves to retain the welterweight title and Dan Henderson obliterated Michael Bisping with one of the greatest UFC highlights of all time.

Earlier that evening, Chuck Liddell and Charles “Mask” Lewis were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

2012: Chris Weidman earned a shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title by knocking out Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4.

2015: Conor McGregor won his first UFC title, claiming the interim featherweight belt by knocking out Chad Mendes in the second round at UFC 189. In the co-main event that evening Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald put on the fight of the year with Lawler coming from behind to knock out MacDonald in the fifth round and retain his welterweight title.

Earlier that evening, Bas Rutten, B.J. Penn, and Jeff Blatnick were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Yet another top shelf fighter the UFC has let walk away. You’ve got to wonder at what point there start to be diminishing returns to no longer keeping all the best fighters in the world on roster. Gegard is one of the best middleweights in the world and one of the better light heavyweights too. Not to mention his increased mic work. This is an excellent pickup for Bellator and frankly, a little disappointing for fans who, like me, were extremely interested in the eventual Bobby Knuckles-Mousasi title fight.

Anyway, that’s all for today folks. It’s Tuesday night and you know what that means, the debut of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series! Take it easy y’all and Conor bless.


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 it.