While most assumed that the boxer was merely posturing, veteran UFC commentator Joe Rogan says that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is seriously considering a trip to the octagon. And who is Rogan’s supposed source for this information? UFC president Dana White.
On several occasions during the summer’s weird, wild, and sometimes wonderful MayMac world tour, Mayweather suggested that he would be willing to face UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in an MMA fight after their business in the boxing ring concluded. Few took the Michigan-native seriously.
In an interview with MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani after the first leg of the tour, McGregor himself scoffed at the idea.
“He tried to say something about UFC next or MMA next, but I was like, ‘Don’t be talking shit that you won’t do,'” said the Irishman, while waving his finger contemptuously
After Mayweather stopped McGregor inside ten rounds in the boxing ring on August 26th, the aforementioned Dana White was asked about the possibility of a rematch under the less restrictive MMA rule-set.
“Floyd would never step into the octagon,” White answered emphatically.
Last week, however, Mayweather once again brought up the idea of a UFC run. During an online fan Q&A, the defensive maestro claimed that the daring transition to what he labeled a “barbarian sport” could make him a billionaire.
“You already know I’m a money-getting motherf**ker,” said Mayweather. “I’m Money May. They just called me not too long ago and asked me to come back. I can come right back to the UFC. If I want, I can go, I can come right back to the UFC, I can go fight in the Octagon. I can do a three or four fight deal in the Octagon and make a billion dollars. Remember, I’m Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, and you motherf**kers love me, and I love you motherf**kers.”
The entire MMA world rolled their eyes in unison.
Rogan, however, was just open-minded enough to hit White up via text and ask him if Mayweather was being at all serious.
“Floyd talked about it, apparently. This is one thing I can tell you,” said Rogan on the latest edition of his new JRE MMA Show podcast. “Dana told me that Floyd wants to make a deal in the UFC – like legitimately. So, I texted him. I go ‘Is Floyd really talking about fighting MMA?’ He goes ‘Yeah, he’s fucking crazy. I told him he’d get killed. But he’s still talking about doing it.'”
Showtime recently released the Pay-per-view numbers for Mayweather’s boxing match against McGregor. The fight drew a whopping 4.3 million buys in North America alone, making it the second most purchased fight in boxing history after Mayweather’s May 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao. It has also been suggested that the international buy-rate for the cross-codes super-fight exceeded that of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
Would an MMA fight between the pair draw a similar figure? More than likely.
With that sort of money potentially on the table once again, we can’t completely count anything out. Don’t forget, it wasn’t all that long ago that the idea of a boxing match between Mayweather and McGregor seemed like utter fantasy.