Freelance: McGregor vs. Mayweather and 5 Super-Fights That Need to Happen
Whether we like it or not (and history shows that fight fans do,) attraction bouts, also known as super-fights have been a part of the history of combat sports for as long as there has been a history of combat sports in the first place. Ali vs. Anoki comes to mind. It seems like we are on the verge of another one of these showdown between the current face of MMA, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor and boxing icon Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.
That bout (which may have been booked for one of two possible dates in late August at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas) is examined below along with a handful of other fun, big-cash draws!
Note: This list contains MMA, boxing, and cross-over bouts—fights that could have a lot of buzz but might not always be a case of “champion vs. champion.”
McGregor vs. Mayweather (Cross-Over)
Whether you are a fan of boxing, MMA, or both, you know you are going to watch this fight. MMA fans will watch to have the right to say “we told you so” to the “older brother” sport of boxing while boxing fans for the same reason a lot of MMA fans normally watch McGregor—to see if he gets finished due to what he says with his perceived big mouth.
Mayweather should have this bout all wrapped up if it does actually take place thanks to his experience in honing a single fight discipline and his point-fighting style, but as has been said before. The real victory (outside of an actual one) would be in McGregor lasting a full 12 rounds with one of the best to ever perform that single discipline.
If he does last that long or otherwise manages to lay his patented left hand (what seems to be his only weapon, although stance switching, creating new angles is gaining popularity in MMA and could serve him well) on the boxer and shock the sports world as a whole, this is the kind of event that inspires ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries.
UFC President Dana White said it best himself back in late April. “Floyd Mayweather is 40 years old; Conor McGregor is 27 (now 28.) Conor’s a big dude. Floyd has trouble with southpaws; Conor McGregor is a southpaw. And Conor McGregor hits like a truck. When he hits you, you know it.”
1. McGregor vs. Max “Blessed” Holloway (MMA)
This bout is even more of a hypothetical one than McGregor facing Mayweather, but anything is possible in this day and age and while Holloway has made it clear that he intends to stay at featherweight and defend his belt as much as he can, the backstory is there for this fight already.
McGregor was the last person to defeat the new Hawaiian champion before Holloway went on to win 11 fights in a row. The Irishman was also stripped of his featherweight title due to inactivity but made history just before that by simultaneously winning the UFC lightweight (155-pound) title as well. Mac will most likely best Holloway verbally, but the fight sells itself and can reach casual fans and mainstream media coverage because of McGregor. Plus, while Holloway might not be going anywhere, there is plenty of fighter discontent in the UFC these days—every man for himself, clamoring for a big payday.
While “Blessed” has said he won’t do that, shorter careers could become the norm and the result of this showdown would set he and his family up with a sizeable nest-egg, no doubt.
2. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. “Triple G” Gennady Golovkin (Boxing)
This fight is already booked (it’s the one that took the original MGM date of September 16 from McGregor Mayweather) but is on this list because nothing in the fight world, especially now, is official until the bell rings. Golovkin is #2 in the world at middleweight (160 pounds in boxing.) He is a perfect 6-0 in recent bouts and 37-0-0 in his pro career with 33 victories by way of knockout (89 percent!) He also scored a UD win, his only one since that was a KO, TKO, or retirement since 2008.
Alvarez is #1 worldwide at 49-1-1 with 34 KO wins including four finishes on his own recent 6-0 streak. This is a deserved “super-fight” not for any other reason than the best is fighting the best contender below him and that allows for the fair possibility of a shocking upset.
Right now, it’s just a matter of neither man getting hurt in training and having to pull out of the contest.
3. The Return of Georges “Rush” St-Pierre to the UFC (MMA)
For all intents and purposes, this is a traditional “champion vs. champion” super-fight as GSP will be moving up in weight to middleweight (185 pounds in MMA) after spending his entire initial run as a welterweight (170-pound) fighter before he entered a three-plus-year hiatus, vacating, but never losing his championship.
The fight is still on in a manner of speaking as both GSP and middleweight champion Michael “The Count Bisping” still want this fight, it only seems scrapped for the immediate future as the challenger is out with an eye injury but expects to be ready to go by September.
The UFC wants to keep things moving and has matched Bisping with the true #1 contender in Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (12-1, 8-0 in the UFC with 10 KO wins overall,) a bitter verbal rival whom Bisping considers a drug cheat.
Although, the trash-talk GSP and Bisping could sell a lot of tickets in addition to their stories: the fact that it took Bisping ten years to earn his lone title shot in the UFC and he’s defended the belt very well along with the fact that the French-Canadian legend is 25-2 overall and had the second-most overall UFC title defenses with nine. Keep your eyes open…
4. Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell vs. Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz III—in Bellator (MMA)
This is one of the greatest rivalries in the history of MMA and while Ortiz has just recently entered his second retirement stint, he’s never been one to turn down a payday and Liddell has pretty much wanted to fight again since he retired some seven years ago.
The backstory is simple: the two “former friends” still hate each other and it will be another ratings grab by the Viacom-owned Bellator. The two men did a classic pre-fight face-off at an event they were both attending before Liddell essentially called Ortiz “the same old piece of s***.” Ortiz responded by offering to loan his adversary money if he was that badly in need of cash.
Ortiz has since apologized for his actions, but he has up-and-down relationships with a number of people. Crazy things happen in MMA, especially under Bellator’s circus tent. Don’t put too much stock into the trilogy fight happening (Ortiz is 0-2, getting finished due to strikes both times)—just don’t entirely rule it out either.
5. Jimi “Poster-Boy” Manuwa vs. David “Hayemaker” Haye (Cross-Over)
Speaking strictly in terms of sport cross-over and not celebrity, this is a poor man’s Mayweather-McGregor, but it would sell well in the fight-crazed UK. Manua is 17-2 in MMA and 6-2 in the UFC with 16 total finishes (15 knockouts.) Haye is 28-3 as a pro boxer with 26 KO wins. He has not had a fight go the distance since 2011 but is fresh off a TKO defeat to Bellew, his most recent bout.
The healthy respect between these two men have not stopped them from poking at one another in the media and online. Also like McGregor, Manuwa has no documented boxing-exclusive experience, so the focus right now is on a Bellew rematch. If the barking from Manuwa keep up something could get worked out.