In the never-ending tug of war between boxing and mixed martial arts, Conor McGregor is beginning to pull for the wrong side. The UFC superstar is finally looking to make his way back into the octagon. Well, sorta.
McGregor, the former concurrent UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, is looking for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. But this time, on his mat. After a relatively entertaining fight last August, Mayweather and McGregor fought a boxing match in Las Vegas that shattered TV and financial records.
While few may argue that McGregor’s boxing skills were suspect, his fight against one of the greatest boxers of all-time was not utterly unwatchable. McGregor went into the eighth round with very limited boxing training, and that’s worth something. Many speculated afterwards that because he put up a fight against Mayweather, he would certainly have the edge in the octagon.
McGregor and Mayweather 1 was definitely a mess, if not at least a little entertaining at first. Both showmen, outlandish and lavish in their own ways, had enchanting press conferences and interactions in interviews as well as on social media. Now, with McGregor and Mayweather 2a��in the octagon this timea��in the news again, the mental warfare is back on.
Mayweather has posted videos of himself training in an octagon. McGregor has already been on an Instagram rampage versus Mayweather. And, UFC President Dana White has said that he will agree to rematch if it’s in the UFC.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was over the moon for the McGregor/Mayweather boxing fight. It was unprecedented and slightly unpredictable; Conor was at a crossroads in the UFC and the hype leading to the fight was going to be extraordinary.
Unfortunately, the fight itself was anything but extraordinary. If McGregor was any other fighter than McGregor, it would have been just another win for Mayweather. McGregor landed a few hard punches but Mayweather was never in real danger of losing the fight.
In the end, the boxer beating the martial artist in the boxing match had no surprise in store for the millions of spectators around the worlda��as silly as that sounds. But that’s it, it’s over. The McGregor/Mayweather rivalry needs to be over. That’s where it needs to stop. For the sake of McGregor’s career, and for the current state and foreseeable future of the UFC.
Because if this fight happens, the Irishman is so very close to making the octagon look like a ring.
The UFC has so many fans, as well as fighters, that were tired of boxing’s monotonous and repetitive nature. The UFC takes pride in its ability to stay fresh, showcase plenty of their fighters and to maintain value in its title belt. All three elements that boxing has struggled with in the recent past. In the UFC, all three work together and have a great impact on the audience. But what McGregor is trying to do is very close to undermining what the UFC has tried to sustain over the last 25 years a�� that is, to not be like boxing.
If Dana White allows his biggest superstar to fight another novelty fight a�� not for a title or title contention a�� against a fighter than has nothing to do with the UFC, the fight will be for nothing but money. The Irishman has not had a competitive UFC fight since November of 2016a��defeating Eddie Alvarez for the featherweight titlea��more than a year ago. If he ends up fighting Mayweather, it could be possible that the UFC doesn’t see McGregor fight for two whole years.
And at 29 years old, this is when the UFC needs him to fight the most. And while McGregor isn’t entirely sure of what his UFC future holds, he needs to come back to reaffirm that he is in fact the best of all-timea��something not yet set in stone. His last three UFC fights were wins against Eddie Alvarez, a decision win against Nate Diaz and a loss against Nate Diaz.
Arguably his two biggest tests await him in the form of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC fans want to see McGregor, but not to fight a meaningless fight against an older boxer with no ramifications other than adding to the Conor narrative. Ferguson and Nurmagomedov present challenges that the Irishman hasn’t had a chance to see in some time. Plus, both have a possibility of ending in a big loss for McGregor. More so Nurmagomedov than Ferguson.
But what’s more exciting is what the division can be if McGregor comes back to the UFC the right way. It could be similar to what the bantamweight division looks like. A division which just saw the title switch hands in its last three fights. From T.J Dillashaw to Dominick Cruz, from Cruz to Cody Garbrandt, and from Garbrandt back to Dillashaw.
Meanwhile, the lightweight division looks primed to be the best division in the UFC. But it hasn’t seen a unified and undisputed champion in years, especially with its best fight still out there. The same can be said for Conor’s original division, the featherweight division. ‘Notorious’ also vacated this title, one now held by Max Holloway.
Holloway has won 12 straight fights, his last loss coming againsta��you guessed ita��Conor McGregor.
All these opportunities are waiting for him, and it won’t last for long. Fighters get injured. They change weight classes. They lose a step. McGregor needs to get back in the octagon before it’s too late.
If he fights Mayweather, it’s going to be benefit the parties involved in the long run more than fans, other fighters and the UFC altogether. Sure it might be fun, but at what cost? It’ll also show other fighters that the UFC is just not worth their best fighters’ time. And if their biggest, baddest superstar doesn’t want to fight for the UFC, why does anyone else want to?