Over the next two months, you’re going to be subjected to an avalanche of opinions on the upcoming megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
Some of them will come from people who don’t know a left hook from a fishhook.
However, there are few people more qualified to discuss what might happen in a crossover fight of this magnitude than Holly Holm.
Holm has been best in the world in both boxing and mixed martial arts, as a three-weight-class world champion in the sweet science before making the change to MMA and winning the UFC women’s bantamweight title.
“I’m the type of fighter who thinks anyone has a chance,” Holm said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “I came over to MMA from boxing and i felt like I had a chance. And I did. I went and I accomplished things.”
So when Holm weighs in on what might go down when the undefeated boxing superstar meets the only simultaneous two-weight-class champ in UFC history, it makes sense to listen.
And while she’s not offering a prediction on who will win the fight, she believes McGregor has a better chance than most.
“Mayweather is undefeated for a reason,” Holm said. “But still, if feel anything can happen in a fight and Conor’s got speed which, I think, Mayweather, a lot of people can’t handle Mayweather’s speed. I think Conor has speed and he can deal with speed pretty well. I think Conor’s fighting style and stance can actually be competitive for Mayweather.”
One reason Holm believes McGregor should be able to adjust is that she views it as simpler to switch from MMA to boxing than vice versa. When you’re boxing in an MMA fight, you have to account for a variety of strikes besides punches or for a takedown attempt. Those, of course, are not factors in a boxing match, making for less complicated preparation.
“I think one of the biggest thing for me going from boxing to MMA that was hard was being close in the clinch, because in boxing I could get comfortable in there,” Holm said. “You could cover up and throw uppercuts and hooks and call it phone booth fighting and when I first got into MMA, sometimes I’d want to stand in there and throw uppercuts and then all of a sudden they’ve got me in the clinch. Or, I’m trying to box and somebody would go for a takedown.
“So one of the biggest habits I had to break going into MMA was letting go of that inside boxing style,” Holm continued, “which I didn’t do all the time but I was comfortable there in the fight and I feel like, going from MMA to boxing, is, I don’t want to say an easier transition, but I just feel like, there aren’t a lot of habits you’d have to break.”
Mayweather-McGregor is an all-boxing promotion, which has led to speculation that maybe Holm could return to the ring for one night.
But Holm has made it clear that while big paydays are nice, passion is her main motivation. And she simply doesn’t have the passion for boxing she once had.
So while she does not entirely rule out the possiblity, she feels accepting a boxing match on the Aug. 26 undercard would be for the wrong reasons.
“I’m all MMA right now,” Holm said. “I really don’t have the buzz at all to box, it would be really hard. I wouldn’t, I told myself I wouldn’t fight for money, only for passion. And if I was to take a fight in boxing to be on that card, it would be for all the wrong reasons. so I really don’t want to do it. I really don’t have any desire to box anymore, and after the years I’ve been out, I don’t feel that passion for it, That’s something I always want to have if I’m going to step in there. I really don’t have the ache for it, you know? A lot of people me that, like, oh my gosh, it would be cool if you were on the undercard, you could co-main event or whatever But, I don’t know, I’d rather just watch it and I really nave no desire to box anymore.”
At the end of the day, Holm will make at least one nod to conventional wisdom: The idea that McGregor’s best chance is in the early rounds, as Mayweather is known as a master adapter as a fight goes on.
“If McGregor wins, its going to be earlier,” Holm said. “If it goes longer, it’s going to be Floyd Mayweather. Anything can happen in a fight. I don’t think it’s a disgrace. I think if anyone’s out there making fun of this fight, I can guarantee you that those are the people who don’t fight.”