Mayweather v McGregor was a spectacle that sets a complicated stage for the future of combat sports.
The aftermath of the most anticipated fight in recent memory may well be as interesting as the fight itself. After Floyd Mayweather Jr. technically knocked out Conor McGregor in round 10 to improve his record to a perfect 50-0, much of the serious conversation is still centered around McGregor.
The multi-weight UFC champion earned more for the one boxing match than he had in all of his past MMA fights combined, landed more shots on Mayweather than anyone else before him, and lasted rounds longer than most experts and spectators expected him to. After all of that, the combat sports world is furiously debating whether the “Notorious One” will return to the octagon of the UFC, join the boxing ranks, or sign on to a rematch against Floyd.
For McGregor, the fact that he recently became a father may contribute to his wanting to earn better money than he has previously with the UFC. The “Money Fight,” Jon Jones’ being suspended once again for PED use, and the UFC’s streaming app crashing during the big fight have all brought the once seemingly invincible mixed martial arts franchise lower than it has been in years. Boxing on the other hand seems to be poised for a resurgence, as everything about Mayweather v McGregor brought new fans to the sweet science.
“Everything about Mayweather v McGregor brought new fans to the sweet science.”
During the fight, the Irishman proved that he was not as unprepared as many boxing aficionados believed he would be. Landing 111 punches, he proved to be one of the most successful in that regard against Mayweather. His conditioning was what did him in, as he was clearly exhausted and unable to keep himself, let alone his hands, up partway into the tenth round. An argument has arisen from this, some saying that there might be a second fight in the offing, as greater preparation and conditioning might have been enough to keep a fight against the tactical Mayweather close through a full 12 rounds.
On the other side of the coin for McGregor, after making $30 million against Mayweather, may be a desire to return to dominance in the UFC. Arguably one of the greatest fighters in the promotion’s history, the enduring success and legacy of his greatness in mixed martial arts competition could balance out with the desire for greater financial gain.
For all that combat sports fans have seen and heard from Conor McGregor, there seems to be nowhere near a consensus on whether he will transition to boxing full-time and exponentially grow his earnings, or return to MMA to continue on his path to historic greatness in the octagon. Whichever option he chooses, it will likely never be taken as permanent by fans after what was one of the most anticipated and viewed fights since Mike Tyson was at his best.