SINGAPORE - As combat sports fans gear up for the Aug 26 blockbuster boxing match between mixed martial arts (MMA) star Conor McGregor and boxer Floyd Mayweather, MMA fighters who are in town are divided over whether the Irishman can triumph.
News that the pair had agreed on the long-awaited showdown, which is expected to be a pay-per-view jackpot, broke early on Thursday in Singapore.
Speaking at Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) media event on Thursday (June 15) ahead of Saturday's UFC Fight Night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, welterweight fighter Rafael dos Anjos answered: "No, of course not ... it's a different level and a different sport. People don't realise how good these guys are. The guy is 49-0 and not even Manny Pacquiao was able to beat him, I don't think Conor McGregor will be able to do it."
His opponent Tarec Saffiedine agreed, adding: "I hope (McGregor) has good training partners."
But not all of the MMA fighters were as quick to write off UFC lightweight champion McGregor's chances.
Welterweight veteran Li Jingliang tipped the 1.75m-tall McGregor to prevail, saying: "Conor's advantage is that he has greater reach and he is more powerful than Mayweather. From his UFC fights that I've seen, his boxing is very skilful as well."
The 40-year-old Mayweather stands at 1.73m.
Welterweight fighter Colby Covington believes youth will be on 28-year-old McGregor's side. "He's younger, he's fresher," said Covington. "If it gets into the later rounds, he might be able to catch Mayweather and put him down."
Holly Holm, who is on the main card for UFC Fight Night Singapore, is 50-50 on who will win.
She said: "Everyone wants to see Mayweather remain undefeated. But at the same time, Conor McGregor wants to prove everyone wrong that he can cross over (from MMA to boxing). It's something he believes in and even though it's a different world, fighting style wise, I think he's got the style to cross over. Other fighters might have a harder time and people who rely on takedowns shouldn't do that. But Conor - even the best fighters aren't able to take him down." Additional reporting by Alvin Chia