Written By Bakari Simpson: As it is with all things, the Mayweather vs McGregor super fight has come and gone. The two combatants have secured their Scrooge McDuck level bags of money and returned home. Floyd has cozily nestled himself back into retirement. Connor, like a career convict, has returned to his familiar cage. In the aftermath, numerous individuals (this writer included) have voluntarily admitted that Connor did far better than expected.
In those early rounds McGregor’s sharp jab, movement and constant stance switching gave Floyd pause. Size was another glaring advantage that Connor enjoyed. The Notorious One appeared to be about two or three weight classes bigger than Money. Presented with this collage of variables Mayweather intelligently let McGregor take the lead. While performing as the fight conductor Connor set a fun and challenging pace. In the end, the inevitable took place. About the halfway mark, there was a notable drop in McGregor’s vigor. While traversing the back nine of the prize fight the UFC golden child gassed badly. Robert Byrd would halt the battering in the tenth.
However, now that this bout is over, have we seen the last of these ‘Boxing vs MMA’ type matches?
If you were asking UFC bigwig Dana White, he would emphatically say that this spectacle was the last of its kind:
“I don’t even wanna talk about my other guys in a boxing match. This was one of those, you know, two big superstars. This thing built from the bottom, up, from the fans to the media, and then up to us, when we even started remotely considering something like this. It was just a real special event and a rare – it’s a rare event. I’m not looking to do this again.” -Dana White, UFC Prez
Then again, what else is Dana supposed to say?
Sure, if the boxers are heading to the cage then White could not care less. Did White ever at any point squawk about Holly Holm? Did he have a major problem putting that former professional boxer in against Rhonda Rousey? How about James Toney versus Randy Couture? When Toney got balled up and hammered by Couture, White did not have too much concern about boxing versus MMA. Dana would not hardly start having heart palpitations if Errol Spence Jr, Andre Ward or Terrence Crawford dared to enter the cage. Nor would he prevent the materialization of any MMA bout involving these accomplished men.
In fact, White and crew would love the opportunity to get that high-profile payback. The problem for the UFC faction only comes into play when cage fighters enter the ring. The problem here is the fact that fighting in the ring is far more profitable than cage warfare. This is the only reason why the Mayweather/McGregor ‘boxing’ spectacle transpired in the first place.
Connor could not, and still can’t, earn half the money he made in this one boxing match during his next ten cage fights. For this rationale, the boxing ring ropes will also retain an allure for cage fighters.
Although, now that a 40-year old retiree nearly concussed an in-prime killer perhaps more respect will be shown to boxing.
It’s inordinately difficult for this scribe to believe that this will be the last of this crossover competition. Just as the UFC itself has evolved, it is near impossible to think the Boxing vs MMA theme will not evolve as well. There is simply too much interest, fan boy’ism and money on the table for this to simply fade away.
Until an MMA guy puts the heat to a top boxer, professional pugilists will forever eagerly invite these types of prize fights. Conversely, while they are at the disadvantage MMA guys will forever be tempted by the higher boxing paydays. So unless Dana and the boys start cutting bigger checks on average its hard to believe this isn’t simply the first of many cross over bouts.
The only thing we need is two more combatants popular enough to force the issue with crowd demand. There is not likely going to be lack of star power in boxing or MMA any time soon. So that will not be the hindrance. I’m fairly certain none of the MMA fighters lost sight of the amount of money Connor was pulling in. Hell, Even Dana White himself has revealed that the event broke PPV records. Even with the staggering $1oo price tag, the Mayweather/McGregor event pulled in 6.5 million PPV buys. This number obliterated the record established by the former #1 purchased fight Mayweather/Pacquiao. So, exactly how long do you think it’ll be before the stars line up and another major UFC fighter climbs in the squared-circle?
I’m guessing not that long at all!
Time answers all questions!
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson