The UFC president now believes that there’s too much money involved for a boxing match between Mayweather and McGregor not to happen.
Just days ago, UFC head promoter Dana White shut down the idea of a superfight between combat sports legends Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor, stating that the fight is “nowhere” close to being booked.
White has been pessimistic about the chances of a Mayweather-McGregor spectacle since the bout was first suggested, but the 47-year-old changed his tune on Wednesday’s episode of Conan, telling tv host Conan O’Brien that he thinks the boxing match will happen.
“I do think it’s gonna happen,” White told Conan, per MMA Fighting. “I think it’s going to be a tough deal, because obviously [there are] a lot of egos involved in this deal and a lot of people, so that always makes it tougher. On the flip side, there’s so much money involved. I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen.”
McGregor and ‘Money’ have gone back-and-forth for the better part of a year, but things really gained steam when the Irishman captured the lightweight title at UFC 205. After dusting then-champion Eddie Alvarez with a beautiful four-punch combination, McGregor announced that his next fight would “100 percent” be in boxing — and the hype has only intensified from there.
White, the UFC’s longtime president, continued to stoke the fire by emphasizing McGregor’s massive size advantage and the age disparity: McGregor is 28. Mayweather is 40.
“Conor McGregor is huge,” White said. “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.”
While the bout is expected to take place in the boxing ring, White wants both men to fight under the UFC banner, headlining what would be the biggest UFC event in the promotion’s history.
Mayweather vs. McGregor is still a fantasy matchup in most fans’ heads, but the bout inches closer and closer to reality with each passing day.