UFC president Dana White at one time said no way, not ever, but he is now a believer that a boxing match between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and retired boxing legend Floyd Mayweather will happen.
Though White recently said publicly that the parties involved were still “not close” to an agreement and that there was no target date set, he’s changed his tune dramatically on whether or not he thinks the fight will happen.
“I do think it’s gonna happen. I think it’s going to be a tough deal, because obviously a lot of egos involved in this deal and a lot of people, so that always makes it tougher,” White said on Wednesday night’s edition of Conan. “On the flip side, there’s so much money involved. I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen.”
There’s been a lot of public posturing by McGregor and Mayweather over the past year or so, both making significant monetary demands and calling each other to task for not making the fight happen. Mayweather, however, upped the ante last week, announcing that he was coming out of retirement in an effort to force McGregor’s hand.
Even with all the recent movement, and rumors that a June 10 date was held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the fight, there has been no sign of a contract in sight.
If it were to happen, however, the fight would take place under boxing rules, which would certainly stack the deck fully in Mayweather’s favor. White, however, believes there are some factors that could make it a more competitive fight than it appears on paper.
“A lot of things make this fight intriguing, but the reality is this,” White explained. “Conor McGregor is huge. He’s 27 years old. He’s in the prime of his career. Floyd is 40. Floyd has always had a problem with southpaws. Conor is a southpaw. And Conor hits hard. When he hits people, they go. Floyd’s definitely not knocking him out, that’s for sure. I’m not saying that Conor would win this boxing match, but it sure makes it interesting.”
So the interest that White never displayed in the past has materialized. So how far off can we be from what could easily become one of the biggest pay-per-view events in the history of combat sports?