Conor McGregor really is changing the game.
McGregor not only is one of the best UFC fighters of all time. He’s also one of the best trash talkers and, in turn, one of the best promoters in combat sports history, which has caught the attention of other mixed martial arts legends ahead of his Aug. 26 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Take Jon Jones, for instance.
Jones might be the greatest MMA fighter ever, yet he acknowledged Monday that he thought of McGregor when he called out Brock Lesnar immediately after defeating Daniel Cormier to win the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 214.
“It’s a big money fight. I think I was inspired by Conor McGregor, to be honest with you,” Jones said on the “Jim and Sam Show” on SiriusXM, via MMAFighting.com. “To just dare and to reach, reach higher. Me versus Brock Lesnar is somewhat equivalent to Mayweather and McGregor. A lot of people would assume that I would lose that fight. Brock Lesnar is super athletic. He was a Division I national wrestling champion. Yeah, he’s older, but he’s just a freak. He’s a rare talent. I don’t know what the betting odds would be on that one.
“It’s just like, do the impossible. Be the David and Goliath story just the same way McGregor dares to compete against Floyd Mayweather. You know what, if you come up short, at least you have more balls than the average American to even step in there. But if you win, the glory that comes with beating a Floyd Mayweather or beating a Brock Lesnar, it’s huge.”
The situations aren’t really that similar. McGregor is crossing over into boxing to fight Mayweather, who’s a perfect 49-0 in his boxing career, and will enter the much-anticipated showdown as a major underdog, whereas Jones would be the overwhelming favorite against Lesnar despite giving up plenty of size to the former UFC heavyweight champion.
Still, it’s understandable why Jones would want to fight Lesnar, who’s currently employed by WWE. Lesnar has cross-sport appeal and is a big draw, meaning both him and Jones would earn huge paydays in addition to challenging themselves both physically and mentally.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen with him, but I know Brock’s a great businessman and I know he knows that this would be huge money,” Jones said. “I’m 40 pounds lighter than him, so I’m sure that just the thought of being the first person to defeat me has to be running through his mind. And the payday. So I’m sure the fight is gonna happen. It’s just gonna be a matter of time.”
No one ever thought McGregor actually would fight Mayweather, yet we’re less than three weeks away from the dream fight becoming a reality and both combatants earning a whole bunch of money. For fighters looking to make bank, you could do worse than emulate The Notorious.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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