The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is real winner in the fight between Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. As the entire world already knows, the Conor McGregor – Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match is signed and stamped. The fight date is scheduled for August 26, 2017, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The hype train is no longer hype and evolved into the biggest combat sports event this year, arguably in history.
Mayweather and McGregor are expected to earn nearly $200 million when everything is all said and done. The fighters will wear 10-ounce gloves throughout their 12 round 154-pound bout. The Vegas line makers set the initial line at -1100 Mayweather and +700 for McGregor, which gives a general idea of the faith the public has in McGregor actually exiting this boxing match victorious.
I’ll be honest and admit that I’m one of the many in the crowd not giving the UFC double-champ a chance to win this boxing match. I’m a realist and just don’t see a realistic outcome that includes the Irishman walking away with the W. What I do know though is that this is a win-win situation for the MMA champion.
We all know about Mayweather’s superior defense and counter punching. Mayweather has proven the theory “Defense wins Championships”. His ability to avoid strikes comes from his unique way of moving his shoulders, head movement, and excellent footwork.
McGregor is known in the mixed martial arts community as an offensive fighter with extremely high level striking. The current UFC lightweight (155-pounds) champion showcased his pinpoint accurate striking throughout his MMA fights. “Mystic Mac” also packs a punch that has ended numerous fighters, 18 to be exact, of his 21 wins. The Irishman’s fans believe and hope is that if McGregor lands enough shots to Mayweather early, he’ll do enough damage to end the legends winning streak.
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Since the fight was announced two days ago, the signing of this bout has two immediate impacts.
One, it brings MMA to the forefront of mainstream sports media. The next two months MMA will be viewed, discussed, covered and examined by mainstream media as we enclose in on the fight date. Boxing has been around much longer and is known to a wider audience, but MMA, on the other hand, is still growing and unknown to many casual fans. Expect McGregor video clips and breakdowns to be a constant occurrence. I wouldn’t even be shocked if the gap in McGregor’s Vegas odds closes during fight week because of his exposure. The exposure for MMA has officially gone mainstream until August 26.
Two, true boxing fans and experts are pissed off about a person who technically has zero amateur or professional boxing experience entering the ring. McGregor is about to make the most money in a boxing debut history. Mayweather is a legend in the sport of boxing and depending on who you’re speaking with, the greatest of all-time. He currently owns a record of 49-0, holding numerous titles at several weight classes. Boxing analysts are giving the MMA champion zero respect with expectations of Mayweather of turning up his offense to prove a point against McGregor.
If McGregor can find his way to a decision against Mayweather, in my eyes, it’s a win for the sport of MMA. Here’s why, if the fight last for the entire 12 rounds and McGregor is landing punches and taking punches, it will solidify the striking talent in MMA. Meaning, MMA fighters striking skills aren’t so primitive compared to boxing. This can only have one result. Which is boxing fans that haven’t accepted MMA converting into fans.
No matter how you examine this fight between “Money” Mayweather and “The Notorious” McGregor, it’s another payday for the Boxing legend and a life changing payday for an MMA fighter. After everything is all said and done, the sport of MMA is the true winner. This single bout may have a similar effect as the Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin Ultimate Fighter title fight on Spike TV, capturing the eyes of new viewers while simultaneously elevating the status of the sport among mainstream sports.
Dana White, UFC President, was smart in making this deal with the Mayweather team. He knew the kind of exposure it would bring to MMA. Every celebrity and millionaire will be fighting for tickets to the biggest event in combat sports history. Tickets will be sold at a Super Bowl level price comparison. MMA is the real winner no matter how you look at this. The UFC involvement will just draw in new fans. Leading up to the fight, be sure to hear about fight week events taking place in Las Vegas that will allow fans to meet fighters.
In addition, the fighters on the UFC roster seeing the amount of money McGregor is receiving and might eventually call for a strike or form a Fighters Association that can actually create movement in favor of the athletes fighting for so much, but in actuality are fighting for so little.
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