Mayweather can stun McGregor in MMA: Faber

The bookmakers foresee a swift defeat for boxing icon Floyd Mayweather Jr if he ever decides to face Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor in a mixed martial arts fight.

But UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber believes the retired 40-year-old boxer stands a "puncher's chance" of beating the brash Irish star at his own game.

Faber, 38, told The Sunday Times yesterday in a phone interview from Perth: "Obviously the game plan for Conor, in an MMA fight, is to take Floyd down (to the ground).

"But every MMA fight starts on the feet, standing. And Floyd has got some of the best hands."

Last August, Mayweather and McGregor faced off in a professional boxing bout with the American winning via TKO in the 10th round and burnishing his record to 50-0.

On social media in recent months, the two have teased for a rematch, this time with MMA rules, and UFC president Dana White told US media on Friday there was a possibility the fight might take place.

But Faber, who retired in Dec 2016 with a record of 34 wins from 44 fights, is not holding his breath.

He said: "Conor put his pride aside, said he wanted to test his skill set as a professional boxer, and of course he had a long history of being a stand-up fighter.

"If Floyd wants to put his pride aside the same way, great. But I doubt it will happen, because he's kind of old to be jumping into a brand new sport. But the truth is, he stands a puncher's chance."

The clash between Mayweather and McGregor generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys.

It was the second highest buy-rate in pay-per-view history, behind Mayweather's decision win over Manny Pacquiao in May 2015, which drew 4.6 million buys.

Faber is in Australia for today's UFC 221 event and will be in the corner of Japanese fighter Teruto Ishihara, who trains at his Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento.

Ishihara faces Mexican Jose Quinonez in the undercard of the event, which is headlined by an interim middleweight title match between Cuban Yoel Romero and American Luke Rockhold.


UFC 221: ROMERO V ROCKHOLD

Singtel TV Ch114 & StarHub Ch208, 11am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Mayweather can stun McGregor in MMA: Faber'. Print Edition | Subscribe