The Fight of the Century finally arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26, 2017, and it delivered as anticipated in front of a star-studded crowd.
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor finally met inside the boxing ring at the T-Mobile Arena after the incredible build up that began piquing the interest of many after the whirlwind four-stop world tour. The verbal jabs and haymakers were thrown and landed flush from both, but on Saturday evening, only real punches with fists shielded in 8 oz. gloves would count.
McGregor, the brash and uber-confident UFC Lightweight Champion, walked into the T-Mobile Arena dressed to impress sporting a freshly buzzed haircut, strutting through the sea of cameras backstage along with his girlfriend Dee pushing Conor Jr. in a stroller at his side.
Mayweather, the undefeated defensive boxing wizard, arrived shielded by his body guards and closely followed by the rest of his entourage, sporting a track suit with headphones on, listening to music while bouncing around loosely.
A contrast in demeanor between the two fighters, but business was certainly at the forefront of their minds.
After Gervonta Davis defeated Francisco Fonseca in the co-main event via a controversial TKO stoppage, a delay of the main event was announced by Showtime due to Pay-Per-View issues.
A few minutes later, the introductory ceremonies of the main event began, starting with the singing of the Irish Anthem by Imelda May and the American National Anthem by Demi Lovato.
After the walks to the ring and the introductions by Jimmy Lennon Jr., the two men met in the center one last time for final instructions from the referee before they would be unleashed to trade blows in an unlikely match up that captivated the interest of people across the globe.
The brash Irishman came out the gates fast, looking to land strikes at will on Mayweather. The undefeated boxer in Mayweather stayed patient while trying to figure out the game plan of McGregor, even flashing a smile while covering up.
The attacks from Conor were not rushed. They were calculated and precise early on. The first three rounds went in his favor by selecting his punches well and
landing cleanly. McGregor even taunted his opponent with both hands behind his back.
McGregor looked to keep the pressure high on his opponent as the fight wore on by switching stances repeatedly and pawing out jabs to keep Mayweather out of striking distance.
The mastery of Mayweather began to shine in the fourth round and a shift in the fight could be felt. Slowly but surely, the boxer began to ramp up the striking as he figured out the angles on McGregor.
Over the next four rounds, Mayweather began to dismantle McGregor with ever-increasing pressure, yet never so much that he left openings for McGregor to capitalize on. McGregor showed why he’s a championship level fighter by hanging in the fight and returning fire, but it became clear who was the better fighter at this discipline.
In the ninth round, Mayweather mashed hard on the gas pedal but still maintained his composure as he started to land huge punches on the Irishman. Fatigue began setting in quickly and the accumulated damage was apparent. The crowd could sense the end was near as they began to rise to their feet.
The conclusion of the bout would come in the tenth round after Mayweather picked up right where he left in the ninth. Huge punches landed cleanly to the head of McGregor as he wobbled against the ropes. The referee stopped any further damage and called a stop to the bout at 1:05.
After the fight, both fighters were very complimentary of each other’s skills inside the ring. Mayweather admitted a bit of surprise at how well McGregor worked angles inside the ring.
McGregor stood toe to toe with the best ever in another realm and came out without sustaining serious damage or hitting the canvas. Nevertheless, McGregor’s first professional boxing match is a loss, but in a valiant effort against the man who is now 50-0.
Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture
When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.
Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”
Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.
Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219
On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.
Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia.
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
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