UFC champion Conor McGregor and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. will square off in the boxing ring Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. The fight was announced Wednesday, and it’s going to be a Super Bowl-type event in regards to hype and fan interest.
The fight, which will take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena, will be available via pay-per-view and broadcast on Showtime.
UFC president Dana White, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza all took questions from the media on a conference call Wednesday night.
Here are three things we learned.
1. UFC Brand Wouldn’t Be Damaged If McGregor Loses, Says Dana White
Oddsmakers have pegged McGregor as a heavy underdog.
But even if McGregor loses, White is adamant the result wouldn’t tarnish the company’s brand.
“No, absolutely not,” White said. “At the end of the day, these two guys wanted this fight. The fans wanted this fight. Conor is a mixed martial artist. He’s going into a boxing match with arguably the greatest boxer of all time. I don’t think it damages the brand or Conor McGregor at all. I think it actually elevates Conor McGregor. The fact that this kid, who has so much to lose, is willing to step in, and is absolutely confident he’ll win this fight. I think it’s one of the many reasons why people love Conor McGregor. Win, lose or draw it’ll be one of the reasons people continue to love Conor McGregor.”
McGregor arguably is the best UFC fighter of all time. He recently became the first fighter ever to hold title belts in two divisions at the same time. His reputation in the mixed martial arts world already has been cemented.
“The Notorious” is stepping into the boxing world and going up against the greatest boxer of the last 30 years. It would be, at least in the eyes of many, a huge surprise if he won. McGregor has very little to lose by agreeing to this fight, so it makes sense to assert that the UFC’s brand wouldn’t be damaged much, if at all, if its marquee star were to be knocked out.
2. No UFC On the Undercard
There will be no UFC fighters or fights on the Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard. It will be boxing only.
White was asked if there’s any language in the agreement about a rematch. His answer, simply, was “there is not.” That doesn’t mean a rematch can’t happen, though, but the possibility of one happening probably hinges on McGregor winning. There’s really no reason for a rematch if Mayweather wins in August.
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