According to Showtime Executives, Floyd Mayweather fighting MMA is a real possibility…
41-year-old Floyd Mayweather continues to tease a transition to mixed martial arts on social media. While many are playing off Floyd’s latest actions as a publicity stunt more than anything else, some close to the situation believe the undefeated boxer is serious about his MMA ambitions.
On his podcast not long ago, Joe Rogan shared with his audience that he has spoken to Dana White about Floyd fighting MMA.
“This is one thing I can tell you, Dana [White] told me that Floyd wants to make a deal in the UFC. Like legitimately. So I texted him, ‘Is Floyd really talking about fighting in MMA?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, he’s fucking crazy. I told him he’d get killed but he’s still talking about doing it.’” – Joe Rogan
The idea of a much-heralded boxer stepping foot in the UFC will remind some of James Toney’s ill-advised similar attempt. Toney was choked out in 3 minutes by Randy Couture in the semi-main event of UFC 118.
While the likelihood of Mayweather stepping into the cage seems remote, that is what most fans and critics said of Conor McGregor stepping inside a boxing ring. Showtime executives believe Floyd’s intent to fight MMA is legitimate, however, and are meeting with him shortly to discuss the possibility.
Floyd Enters the Octagon
The worry with any boxer or kickboxer entering MMA is that their takedown defense won’t be good enough to keep the fight standing. The other concern is that once the fight is taken to the ground, it’ll probably be over shortly after.
Perhaps, Floyd knows something the rest of us don’t and has been training in secret for many years. That seems unlikely to be the case, however.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) January 30, 2018
Conor on Floyd Fighting MMA
Conor McGregor has a vested interest in Floyd fighting MMA, considering he would be a likely opponent for him if he does. Here is what the UFC lightweight champion had to say about Floyd’s latest social media posts.
“If it is (all talk), it will follow him for the rest of his days that he did not do it,” McGregor said. “I said I would (fight him in boxing), I stepped up, and I did it.”
On the topic of what would happen if Conor and Floyd met in an MMA fight, Conor responded with the following:
“I’d do as I please against him inside the Octagon,” McGregor said of Mayweather. “But if he does do it – I know he’s flirting with it – I would have respect for him. I think he would get his earned respect.”
Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza on Floyd Fighting MMA
Reporters caught up with Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza recently. The executive told reporters he has a scheduled meeting with Floyd Mayweather to talk about the boxing star’s recent social media posts.
When asked if Floyd fighting MMA was a possibility, Espinoza had this to say:
“Nobody thought that Mayweather-McGregor was a realistic thing, so I’ve learned not to question what Floyd is capable of pulling off,” Espinoza told TMZ Sports. “There’s a chance. Like, whatever he puts his mind to, he sort of wills it to happen.”
“He willed the McGregor fight into happening, so if he sets his mind to it, it’ll happen.”
On if Showtime would support Mayweather’s decision to transition to mixed martial arts, Espinoza affirmed they would support him in whatever he chooses to do.
“We’ve got a great relationship, he’s been really supportive and loyal to Showtime and CBS,” Espinoza said of Floyd Jr. “If he wants to take up UFC, if he wants to take up ice hockey, if he wants to do figure skating, we’re with him. We’ll back him all the way.”