Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never struggled to keep his name in headlines — and that hasn’t changed in retirement.
Somehow, the former boxing champion has become a pervasive figure in mixed martial arts since his Aug. 2017 boxing match against UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. In recent months, Mayweather’s presence in the sport has centered primarily around the notion that he is eyeing an MMA fight in the future, with rumblings of a potential rematch against McGregor in four-ounce gloves infecting the online rumor mills. Mayweather even went so far as to recently claim to TMZ that he’ll need 6-8 months of training then will “eventually” apply for an MMA license to make his Octagon debut.
But UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway isn’t buying into Mayweather’s gimmick.
“In boxing, he’s greatest,” Holloway said Monday on The MMA Hour. “There’s no hate towards him. He finished smart, he made a lot of money, he changed the sport in a lot of ways, and he got there using his brains and being smart ... and not being humiliated.
“You guys really believe this guy is going to take an MMA fight, at however old he is right now, against a young guy that’s tough who people consider one of the best in the sport? It just blows my mind, man.
“If people believe that kind of stuff, it’s wild. I really don’t know what to say.”
Mayweather, 41, retired from the boxing ring with an undefeated 50-0 record last year following his 10th round TKO win over McGregor.
Earlier this month, despite never competing in any form of event that involved kicking or grappling, Mayweather rated his kicking skills as a “four” out of 10 and his wrestling skills as a “seven” out of 10, claiming he could push his wrestling up to a “nine” with a half-year of work. He added that the transition from boxing to MMA was “probably going to be a little difficult,” but spoke optimistically about his abilities to make such a transition with the help of UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Woodley has championed the idea from the start.
On a recent segment of his TMZ show Hollywood Beatdown, Woodley said that he and Mayweather crossed paths at NBA All-Star weekend and made plans to train together so Woodley could teach Mayweather the basics of MMA. Woodley has since doubled down on the claim. Yet while Holloway remains a fan of the welterweight champ, he can’t help but wonder if “T-Wood” is saying things just to stir up some noise.
“I mean, I love Woodley,” Holloway said. “Woodley’s the man. He’s a great dude, but I swear he talks about everything. He’s talking about everything. Whatever you can talk about, he talks about it. That guy is always on TMZ or something, so he wants to be talked about all of the time, that’s it. Woodley, you are the man, brother, but I think it’s a PR stunt.
“How can you not think it’s not a PR stunt? I don’t know. This guy is always — every time I see on Twitter something retweeting about TMZ, it’s Tyron Woodley talking about it. So it’s like, gosh, is this guy a champion or is he a TMZ reporter? What is going on, my friend?”
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