It’s been just over a year since Conor McGregor’s first step into boxing ended in defeat to Floyd Mayweather but the bad blood appears stronger than ever. Well, from one of them anyway.
Conor McGregor’s response to the Moneymaker offering usage of his gym ahead of UFC 229 was quite blunt – “F*** the Mayweathers”.
UFC 229 will see a return to the Octagon for McGregor, over two years since he stopped with the trips and kicks and put on his boxing gloves, and Mayweather will be watching with interest, much like the rest of the fight fans around the world.
It’s expected to be one of the most watched fights in not only UFC but combat sport history, with fans expecting to stream the fight in record breaking numbers.
What fans will be wanting, is for McGregor to use his power and stand up, just as he did for large parts of the Mayweather fight. The 50-0 fighter said of McGregor, “the fans want to see you stand up and fight. That’s what they want to see. But Conor McGregor’s a tough competitor. Conor McGregor’s not going to back down from anyone. He’s not scared. He’s a warrior.”
What is interesting is that McGregor also added, “Step up or down,” in response to the pound-for-pound legend, suggesting he certainly has unfinished business.
Dublin born McGregor has in the past suggested he’d like a rematch and has claimed he would beat Floyd second time around.
It would require a huge performance from the Crumlin native though against Khabib Nurmagomedov on October 6, who goes into the fight as favourite. He’s a grappler compared to McGregor’s punching power and a knockout blow would certainly get tongues wagging about another Las Vegas showdown.
Particularly if not only the war of words continue, but also if Mayweather gets back into the game, with rumours suggesting a deal to fight Manny Pacquiao again to be done by the end of the week.
Fans will certainly be looking out for that. 16 of McGregor’s 21 knockout wins have come from punches, with devastating blows to the likes of Jose Aldo, who he knocked out in just 13 seconds.
Another performance like that and the shrewd moneymaker that is the Moneymaker would find another 4.3 million pay-per-view purchases hard to turn down.
It’s certainly a long shot and even if Mayweather doesn’t want to return to old ground, particularly given the manner in which he won, McGregor may well fancy another return to the boxing ring.
Dana White, the president of UFC recently described his big name fighter a warrior who will fight anyone. That may also come in the squared circle where he’d be looking to make amends on what wasn’t exactly comfortable in a pair of gloves.
In the past Pacquiao has called him out, which would be another huge box office draw, while Paulie Malignaggi may also be prized out of retirement given the bad blood between them.