Boxing: Possible cage fight for Mayweather: UFC chief

Floyd Mayweather landing a left hook on Conor McGregor during their blockbuster bout in August. With McGregor then making the crossover into the boxing ring for that fight, Mayweather has been touted to do a switch in the opposite direction.
Floyd Mayweather landing a left hook on Conor McGregor during their blockbuster bout in August. With McGregor then making the crossover into the boxing ring for that fight, Mayweather has been touted to do a switch in the opposite direction.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White has said Floyd Mayweather is in talks with the promotion about coming out of retirement and entering the sport of mixed martial arts in a potential billion-dollar move.

"We're talking to Floyd about doing a UFC deal," White told ESPN.

"It's real. He was talking about (boxing) Conor McGregor. Was that real? Have you heard Floyd talk about many things that aren't real? He usually tips his hand when he's in the media and then that s**t ends up happening.

"We're interested in doing something with Floyd. Everything is a realistic possibility. Mayweather versus McGregor f*****g happened.

"Anything is possible."

Mayweather, a five-division boxing champion, emerged from a 23-month retirement in August for a one-off match against Ireland's McGregor under boxing rules, defeating the UFC superstar in a ninth-round technical knockout to improve his record to 50-0.

The 40-year-old American has previously made brash statements about crossing over to the octagon, first during the build-up to the McGregor fight and most recently during a live-streamed Q&A with fans last week.

"If I want, I can go, I can come right back to the UFC, I can go fight in the octagon," Mayweather said.

MAN OF HIS WORD

Have you heard Floyd talk about many things that aren't real? He usually tips his hand when he's in the media and then that s**t ends up happening.

DANA WHITE, UFC boss, on the chances of Floyd Mayweather in an MMA fight.

Veteran UFC commentator Joe Rogan, a close associate of White, also confirmed on Tuesday the boxer and MMA's leading promotion had opened discussions on a potential move.

"Floyd talked about it. This is one thing I can tell you," Rogan said in a podcast. "Dana told me that Floyd wants to make a deal in the UFC. Like legitimately.

"I texted him, I go 'Is Floyd really talking about fighting MMA?' He goes 'Yeah, he's f*****g crazy. I told him he'd get killed. But he's still talking about doing it."

Mayweather's publicist was unable to confirm the fighter had been in talks with the UFC when reached by The Guardian on Wednesday.

One has to think Mayweather would be at a decided disadvantage in any MMA environment, considering he's been a boxer and nothing else for nearly his entire life.

McGregor, for comparison's sake, had at least some training as a boxer, having started his combat-sport career in an Irish boxing gym at the age of 12 and continuing on as one of MMA's best fighters.

Mayweather does not seem to care about any of that, mainly because of his love of money.

"I can do a three-or four-fight deal in the octagon and make a billion dollars," he said.

"Remember, I'm Floyd 'Money' Mayweather."

THE GUARDIAN, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Possible cage fight for Mayweather: UFC chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe