Former welterweight boxing world champion Andre Berto is contemplating a move to mixed martial arts. Berto, the last man to fight Floyd Mayweather, was on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani recently and talked about the challenge. He also touched base on what kind of impact the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather bout will have on the world.
Berto, of course, was once at the upper echelon of the boxing world. However, injuries have forced him to keep largely out of the spotlight. He fought Mayweather in 2015, losing a unanimous decision in a largely uneventful bout. It turned out to be the last fight of Mayweather’s career until he came out of retirement this year to announce the McGregor fight.
Andre Berto wants to join the UFC
One of the motivations behind Berto’s contemplation of joining the UFC is because of the fact that he grew up in a family of martial artists. So really, martial arts has been a big part of his life. Berto mentioned approaching UFC President Dana White about possibly joining. He wants to become the first fighter to win a world title in both boxing and MMA.
“I’ve known Dana [White] for a while and I asked him, ‘Hey has there ever been somebody to win a world title in boxing, like a real sanctioned world title in boxing, and win the UFC title?’. He was like, ‘No, never’. So I said, ‘Well okay, alright. I like challenges man. I said I might make a run, man, I don’t know. We’ll see.”
“Yeah definitely people have reached out and tried to bring this to my attention. Just because they know I grew up in a house full of MMA fighters, grapplers, jiu-jitsu champions, wrestling champions. So we definitely have it in the blood. I told Dana White, if I even try to make that type of play, it would be to become the first fighter ever to win a legit boxing title and a UFC title. Then I can ride out into the sunset.”
Will Berto make a good MMA fighter?
Berto chimes in on Conor McGregor’s impact on the combat sports world
McGregor is set to face Mayweather on August 26th in Las Vegas, in what is expected to be the richest fight in boxing history. Berto sheds his sentiments on the topic.
“What Conor [McGregor]’s doing is he is really opening up doors. He’s really changing the game when it comes to making this type of money in the UFC. It’s unheard of. He’s breaking records left and right. Before this (Mayweather) fight even goes down, he’s already making a good amount of money. To be able to really take it to this level, I don’t think you’re going to see anything like this in a very, very long time.”
“I gotta check it out, I gotta see the craziness, I gotta see the circus, man. It’s going to a great event. Of course, the boxing purists might not be tuning in but this situation is an event. It’s going to be the boxing world and the UFC world just coming together and colliding. There’s going to be a lot of people coming from Ireland and from all over the world. They are here to see how all this plays out. Anything can happen.”
Berto says he sees the fight going one of two ways. It’s either McGregor’s antics get to Mayweather and forces the boxing legend to come out of his shell. Or Mayweather sticks to being Mayweather and operates as he normally does. If McGregor can get Mayweather to make a mistake like that, Berto believes he can stop the boxer.