When Conor McGregor signalled his intention to compete in a professional boxing bout, we all laughed, when he said that he wanted to take on Floyd Mayweather, the best defensive boxer of all time, we all had a good ole cackle, and when Mayweather said that he was up for the challenge, we p*ssed our collective pants.
But the event itself was no laughing matter: Mayweather vs McGregor was the second-biggest pay-per-view in history with over 4.3 million PPV buys in the United States alone.
The only event to eclipse it is Mayweather vs Pacquiao from 2015 – a fight that had been hyped for years – which did 4.6 million buys in total.
And now, Floyd Mayweather has made the sensational claim that he wants to have his first professional MMA fight before the years end and we are all chuckling again.
But after his interview with combat sports website FightHype.com, one has to draw the conclusion that the 41-year-old is serious.
“I’m thinking about fighting in the MMA,” Mayweather stated. “I’ve thought about it…I look forward to fighting probably by the end of the year.”
And while he admitted that he hasn’t committed to it 100%, Mayweather said that he has begun training and reckoned there was a 50% chance that he would don a pair of MMA gloves by the end of 2018.
“Right now it’s a 50-50 [chance], not 100 percent. But we’ve started training.”
Mayweather plans to train with current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley as well as coaches that specialise in Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling and kickboxing.
“Me and Woodley have spoke to each other on numerous occasions. We talked. We said we’re going to start working out, as far as he’s got a great hand game already.
“I’m going to be working with different guys in the Jiu-Jitsu world. My wrestling game, I’m going to be working with guys with the wrestling. My kicking game, I’m going to be working with guys for the kicking game.
“Before I get in the octagon, I’ve got to be well rounded, all around the board.”
If the former boxing superstar actually steps into the Octagon, he is all too aware of the challenge he faces in such a harsh and unpredictable sport.
“You don’t know how things could play out or how things could happen. With MMA, anything can happen. It’s brutal. It’s very, very brutal.”
Mayweather plans to compete as a featherweight and said that he was looking forward to showing off his incredible hand speed while wearing the smaller 4oz MMA gloves.
“In MMA it would be totally different because we don’t have no shoes on, and with 4oz gloves on. You think I’m fast with eight-ounce gloves on, imagine how fast I’d be with four-ounce gloves on.”
That fact that he could have made the 135lb bantamweight limit but wants to fight at featherweight has led many fight fans to speculate that Mayweather is eying a superfight with his old nemesis, The Notorious Conor McGregor.
You may laugh at that thought but we’ve been down this road before. Let’s just see how this all pans out.
What would happen if he actually does step into the Octagon is anyone’s guess: it’s reasonable to assume that is he takes on anyone who possesses reasonable wrestling and/or Jiu-Jitsu skills, he will be in big trouble.
But if he takes on an out-and-out striker who is desperate to be the first person in combat sports history to knock out Floyd Mayweather, he has a realistic chance of catching them with his lightning-quick hands.
Mixed martial arts and boxing are different beasts, to be sure. But with his speed and defensive capabilities, Mayweather could surprise a fel people. Funnier things have happened…