Category Archives: Conor McGregor

Manny Pacquiao will pass on watching Mayweather-McGregor fight that 'could be very boring'

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If negotiations had fallen apart between Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and the UFC, Manny Pacquiao would’ve gladly stepped in, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and made the declaration last month.

As we know, that didn’t happen, and here we are on the precipice of a fantasy fight once thought impossible taking place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Just because Pacquiao apparently was willing to fill in if given the opportunity, that doesn’t mean he approves of Mayweather (49-0 boxing) fighting UFC lightweight champion McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC).

Pacquiao is very interested in the boxing superfight going down between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 16. But three weeks earlier, Pacquiao told Yahoo.com he won’t waste his time on the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle.

“The real fight and the best fight is Golovkin vs. Canelo,” Pacquiao said. “The best vs. the best. That’s the fight I will be watching.”

The reason why falls in line with the thinking of many folks, considering the bout pits a 49-0 boxer in Mayweather vs. an 0-0 boxer in McGregor.

“McGregor has no chance in this fight,” Pacquiao said. “In fact, it could be very boring. … There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. How could he? He has no professional experience in boxing.”

Pacquiao barely managed to land a few meaningful punches on Mayweather during their much-anticipated superfight in 2015, which failed to live up to the hype (but drew a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys) and resulted in a unanimous-decision win for Mayweather.

It was boring, and Pacquiao has to know this now looking back at it. So surely you could see where he’s coming from.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Kevin Lee, self-proclaimed UFC champ without 'hunk of metal': I'll fill Conor McGregor's shoes

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Lee is on a mission to become UFC champion.

No, scratch that.

Ahead of his UFC Fight Night 112 lightweight showdown with new rival Michael Chiesa, Kevin Lee believes he’s already UFC champion.

“For me, every fight is like a championship level fight,” Lee told MMAjunkie before Sunday’s FS1-televised main event from Chesapeake Energy Arena. “I’m a championship level fighter with or without that belt. The belt don’t really mean much to me. … That’s just a hunk of metal.

“To me, I’m a champion with or without it. I’m going into this with the mindset of being a champion. I’m going to fight like a champion. And afterwards I’m still going to be a champion.”

That type of bold talk sounds a little like the current, actual UFC lightweight champion. And that’s not by accident.

Speaking of Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), Lee (15-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) sees an opportunity for himself and the UFC. With McGregor out of the picture as he prepares for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, Lee figures somebody needs to step up and be the guy who draws attention to the company.

So the middle finger in Brazil, the flashy clothes and trash-talking physical encounter with Chiesa (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at the UFC’s Summer Kickoff last month, none of it was by accident.

“After (McGregor-Mayweather), I think the sport is going to go into a new genre, and they need somebody to fill them shoes,” Lee said. “I don’t think McGregor is going to come back for a minute anyway. They’re going to be looking for someone new. …

“He’s going to make some money. He’s going to do his thing. He should sit back, enjoy himself. But when he gets back, I’m still here. … So when he gets back, he’s going to have some trouble. But, in the meantime, we’ve got to fill some shoes some way.”

If anyone has a problem, Lee doesn’t much seem to care.

“People going to love you, people going to hate you,” he said. “Eventually they’ll all respect me, though. That’s all I’m looking forward to.”

Check out more of our interview with Lee above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Floyd Mayweather's trainer worried about Conor McGregor 'doing something stupid' in fight

One point of discussion leading up to the Aug. 26 Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor showdown is whether the UFC lightweight champion, given it’s his first professional boxing match, could get so frustrated that he’d resort to illegal MMA tactics.

As USA TODAY Sports reported, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) is contractually prohibited from “going rogue” on Mayweather (49-0 boxing). UFC President Dana White even attempted to quell any fears.

“There is no way that will happen,” White said. “That is absolutely in the contract, No.1. No. 2, this is a boxing match under the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. When you talk about a guy like Floyd Mayweather – the lawsuit if that ever happened … you all know how much Conor likes money. Conor would depart with a whole lot of money if that ever happened.”

Still, though, Mayweather’s assistant trainer, Nate Jones, expressed his concerns about what could happen in an interview with Submission Radio.

“One way I can see the fight ending is Floyd outboxing him, beating the crap out of him,” Jones said. “Another way I’m going to be concerned about is when Floyd gets to a point where he frustrates him too much, McGregor’s going to do something crazy. That’s the only thing I’m worried about.”

Jones continued.

“I would be more concerned about this fight because Floyd’s a little older now. He’s 40 years old. McGregor has crazy weird power, and he’s got weird shots from weird angles. I’m worried about that. But for my prediction in the fight, is Floyd either confusing him and frustrating him and stopping him in the later rounds, or Floyd outboxing him, or (McGregor) doing something stupid and losing the fight. That’s my prediction.”

On one hand, White’s remarks make sense. Why would McGregor pull a stunt like this and risk cutting into his massive payday? Then again, it’s crazy this once thought-to-be-impossible fight is even happening, so absolutely nothing should come as a surprise.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: Bellator's big night, Conor McGregor's interplanetary fame and more

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Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Who would be the ideal representative to represent MMA against a top boxer? What happens if Conor McGregor actually beats Floyd Mayweather? Is Bellator NYC creating enough of its own buzz, or looking too much like a UFC knockoff?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

* * * *

It’s tricky, because Bellator wants to appeal to UFC fans but at the same time has to be careful not to come off looking like UFC Lite. It also needs fighters who fans know, but can’t rely exclusively on UFC castoffs, most of whom only struck out for new territory when it became clear that they’d gone as far as they could go in the UFC.

So what’s specifically Bellator about this fight card? Where’s the signature touch?

It’s headlined by two old guys with a grudge that’s more fun to hear about than it probably will be to see, so that’s pretty Bellator-ish. It’s got Fedor Emelianenko and Scott Coker together again, but that actually feels more Strikeforce-ish. It’s got Michael Chandler defending his lightweight title against an undefeated challenger with a harrowing personal story, but Bellator itself has done very little to highlight any of that.

Judging by the amount of pre-fight buzz, this feels like another Bellator “tentpole” event. Which would be fine, except that there’s a difference between convincing people to watch some weird stuff on cable and convincing them to pay actual money for it.

Skill-wise, it’d be nice to have someone with more boxing experience, like Chris Lytle. He had 15 fights as a pro boxer and only one loss. He tried to set up a fight with Roy Jones Jr. at some point, and once even told me it was the one thing he’d come out of retirement for, but of course it never happened because who’d be crazy enough to put an MMA fighter in there with a legendary boxer, right?

As far as handling all the pre-fight stuff, there’s no one better than Conor McGregor. He’s got a weird charisma that makes people want to look at and listen to him. He has that natural ability to speak in quotes, seemingly creating catchphrases as he talks. He sometimes takes the trash-talk too far, but he’s never boring.

That’s a good thing, since pre-fight hype is the bulk of his job here.

Still, I think guys like Lytle would tell you that boxing is a different game. It’s not just a question of whether you know how to throw a punch. The strategy and the techniques, the pace and the distance, those are all important aspects of the sport that take time to learn. Floyd Mayweather’s been learning them all his life, and he’s a master of them.

It’s the other stuff – the sales pitch, the ability to maintain our interest all summer, the magic trick of convincing us that maybe, just maybe he could win – that McGregor really excels at. In that sense, he may be the perfect representative of MMA at this moment in time.

Well obviously the first thing that happens is the Irish tear apart Las Vegas, literally burn it to the ground as part of their celebration. Then we all wake up the next morning to headlines declaring boxing officially dead. McGregor owns it now, only he’s so rich he doesn’t need it, so he’s decided to shut it down. Oh well. It had a good run.

After that the seas boil and the mountains melt. Earth will become uninhabitable at that point, which makes it a fine time for NASA to announce that it constructed a series of secret escape pods for just such a possibility. Or, well, it was supposed to be a series of pods. Then, you know, budget cuts. So now it’s just one pod, and there’s no argument as to who should take it.

Fortunately, his victory over Mayweather has made him the most famous athlete on other planets as well as this one. As we watch him blast off into space, the fumes of a dying planet choking our lungs and burning our eyes, we tell ourselves that it’s fine, just fine. Wherever McGregor lands, he’s sure to be a star.

That’s a tough question, mainly because there are two different ways of asking it. There’s the question of when you’d be justified in turning down a challenger, and then there’s the question of when it would actually be a good idea (or at least not a terrible one).

Remember when Jon Jones did it, turning down Chael Sonnen as a very late replacement for the injured Dan Henderson at UFC 151? That was a reasonable decision to make at the time, and he got scorched for it. The UFC canceled the event and then scheduled a media call just to yell at Jones about it.

Jones was justified in making that decision, but being right didn’t save him from taking a beating in the court of public opinion. It didn’t keep him from slipping into an adversarial relationship with the UFC. If he hadn’t had the advantage of being the best fighter in the world, it might have been even worse.

I think that’s a clue to the answer we’re looking for here, honestly. When is it a great idea for a champion to turn down the UFC’s preferred challengers? Probably never. Not even when the preferred challenger has no real case for a title shot.

When you can do it anyway and get away with it? When you’re so good or so popular or even just so ensconced as champion that the UFC has no choice but to keep working with you anyway.

Whatever other wonderful qualities she might possess, Germaine de Randamie didn’t have that one going for her.

Don’t you talk about his mom! Don’t you ever talk about his mom!

I’ve seen it here and there over the years. I’ve even seen people disqualified for “timidity.” It’s just not a talk we’re used to hearing from the referee in UFC main events these days, simply because you don’t usually end up there if you’re feeling timid in the first place.

It’s a fine line for a referee to walk, and I thought Marc Goddard walked it well. He told both fighters that he “respect(ed) the game plan” but they still had to work. And what do you know, they did.

We don’t want to tell fighters that they are obligated to run face first into each other’s fists just to satisfy the blood lust of the masses. You get to have a strategy and a game plan and hopefully some defensive maneuvers with which to protect yourself.

At the same time, nobody’s here to watch you two stare at each other. We got enough of that at the dinner table with our parents growing up.

A logjam implies that there are a bunch of talented contenders with their path to the top blocked by some obstruction. What’s happening at women’s featherweight in the UFC is kind of the opposite: There’s a lack of talented contenders, so what few there are might have to go straight to the top before they’re ready.

Cristiane Justino isn’t yet the UFC women’s featherweight champion, even though it basically feels like she is. It was a division created for her, even if the UFC decided to hold the first title fight without her. (And just look at how that ended up.)

If and when she beats Invicta FC champ Megan Anderson to claim the UFC belt, what then? The UFC will have to go hunting for challengers, probably at bantamweight, offering them a choice between toiling for uncertain stakes at 135 pounds or experiencing the “Cyborg” smash at 145 pounds.

That isn’t a logjam, which is what happens when the logs all pile up on one another and block the way. This is more like the other thing that happens to logs, as in the ones that end up in the sawmill and march one after the other to the blade in an orderly fashion.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC champs Conor McGregor, Demetrious Johnson nominated for 2017 ESPY Awards

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UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has picked up another nomination for an ESPY, and flyweight champ and pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson is finally getting some shine.

Conor McGregor

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), who won the 2016 award for Best Fighter and was nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete, is nominated again in the Best Fighter category alongside Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC).

It’s the first nomination for “Mighty Mouse” and comes two months after his record-tying 10th consecutive title defense in the flyweight division.

The UFC fighters are competing against boxers Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin and Andre Ward.

McGregor is also nominated for Best International Athlete, competing against boxer Canelo Alvarez, sprinter Usain Bolt, swimmer Katinka Hosszu and soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 2017 ESPY nominees were announced today, with voting underway until the awards show on July 12 in Los Angeles. The show airs live on ABC.

The timing of McGregor’s latest nomination is interesting, considering MMA is about the furthest thing from his mind as he prepares for a boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. Johnson, meanwhile, is in the midst of a standoff with the UFC over his refusal to fight ex-bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw.

MMA’s fringe sport roots have given way to regular recognition from the yearly awards show, which recognizes sports stars, teams and plays. McGregor, Holly Holm, Robbie Lawler, Ronda Rousey, Lyoto Machida, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and Edson Barboza are among the fighters nominated for honors at past ESPY Awards shows.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, including “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

The story behind Conor McGregor knocking out Floyd Mayweather (in a mural on his gym wall)

When Conor McGregor steps inside the ring to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match on Aug. 26, he will have already seen himself knocking out Mayweather every day for two months.

And that’s because of what can be seen in the background of this Instagram post from the UFC lightweight champion:

Instagram Photo

Yes, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) is training for Mayweather (49-0 boxing) every day with the backdrop of a giant mural depicting him knocking Mayweather silly with a straight left.

Here’s a better and complete look of the artwork that adorns McGregor’s gym in Dublin, courtesy of an Instagram post from the company that made it:

Instagram Photo

So how did this come about? Besides the fact that something this bold and brash is what we’ve come to expect from “The Notorious.” Turns out it was a last-minute request from McGregor’s coach, John Kavanaugh, to help his fighter mentally prepare.

Via Yahoo.com:

We, SUBSET, are a Multidisciplinary Artist Collective with interests ranging from Art, Marketing​,​ Music and Film to ​Finance, Hospitality and Clothing. We have a great relationship with John Kavanagh and he graciously provided us with the opportunity of producing the artwork which is now the backdrop for Conor’s preparations.

The artwork is a gift for John which will aid Conor with the visualization of his success. As it was a surprise we were required to produce it once he finished a training session on Sunday evening and before he began another training session on Monday night. We filmed his arrival and reaction to the artwork and we are currently in the process of making a short video using the footage. This will be posted online in the coming days – https://www.instagram.com/subsetdublin/.

In real life, McGregor has never boxed professionally and is a giant underdog against Mayweather. In his mind and on the wall of his gym, though, McGregor is the favorite and winner. And if he can see it, then he can do it.

No?

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Why boxer Chris van Heerden leaked (unedited) Conor McGregor sparring footage

The news of UFC veteran heavyweight Tim Hague’s death on Sunday, following a knockout blow sustained during a boxing match in his native Canada, furnished us with a jarring and chilling reminder of the mortal peril combat-sports athletes place on themselves.

As much as we tell ourselves otherwise, and wholeheartedly want to believe it, pursuits such as MMA and boxing are a world away from “mainstream” sports.

Hague’s tragic passing at 34 is merely the latest, harrowing evidence of this. There’s just no circumventing the hard reality of what’s potentially at stake when two combatants enter a ring or octagon.

Hague’s heavyweight bout with former Edmonton Eskimos football player Adam Braidwood was just his fourth in professional boxing; Braidwood was fighting for only the ninth time.

If you were so inclined, an instructive parallel could be drawn between by such novices trying their hand at boxing and last week’s news that UFC lightweight champion and boxing neophyte Conor McGregor will meet 49-0, five-division world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

Admittedly, these situations are hardly identical, but nor are they unrecognizable from each other. What is inescapable, however, is that on Aug. 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, a boxing neophyte will be pitted against arguably its greatest proponent.

That the contest is being facilitated purely for commerce and pageantry should also raise more than a few ethical questions.

Indeed, former IBO and IBF welterweight champion Chris van Heerden sparred McGregor twice last summer, and he’s adamant the Nevada State Athletic Commission should not have sanctioned the bout, which will be contested for 12 three-minute rounds at 154 pounds.

“The danger about all of this is the conditioning,” van Heerden told MMAjunkie. “Boxing is a completely different type of standup fighting to MMA, and 12 rounds is a hell of a long time. If you’ve never done it, you’re in for a rude awakening.

“It’s two different worlds, two different mindsets, and in my opinion, it shouldn’t have been allowed. You must call a spade a spade.”

In the immediate aftermath of the McGregor vs. Mayweather announcement, van Heerden placed himself squarely in the eye of the storm when he took to Twitter and reposted footage of his encounter with the Dubliner:

The 56 seconds in question, which do not show McGregor in the most favorable of lights, had been retweeted 8,300 times in less than a week. The Johannesburg native admitted the move was motivated by self-promotion, but not exclusively so.

“When people ask me why I’ve released this footage now, it’s because it hurts me that there are guys like myself who have been devoted to this sport, risking our lives,” he said. “And to see McGregor, who has zero knowledge of professional boxing, make it out like he could just get out of an octagon, step in the ring and beat up the best pound-for-pound fighter out there – to just make out like our lifestyle is so easy and that anybody could do it, and then for people to be saying he has a big chance of beating Floyd. I just thought, judge for yourself.”

To get to the root of this issue, however, the genesis of van Heerden’s interactions with modern MMA’s figurehead requires retelling.

After defeating Steve Clagget via majority decision in April 2016, van Heerden returned home to South Africa to spend time with his family. The day after he arrived back in the U.S., the 30-year visited his gym to catch up with friends and colleagues.

While there, he was told that there was someone who wished to speak with him. That someone just so happened to be McGregor, who was beginning to plot revenge for his first promotional loss, which came to Nate Diaz at UFC 196.

A rangy southpaw, van Heerden was equipped to mimic Diaz and, following McGregor’s request, he agreed to spar the Irishman, though at no time was he in his employ.

“Conor asked me if I minded moving around with him at some point,” van Heerden said. “I knew it was for the Nate Diaz rematch, but at that same point, the McGregor vs. Mayweather talks caught fire. For me being from South Africa, in America, I needed a way to get my name out over here.

“So, with the talks of the fight with Mayweather going on, if I moved around with Conor, I knew people were going to want to know who I was. So I said yes, but it was a big risk because I was out of shape and hadn’t trained for a month.”

It was at the beginning of their second session that van Heerden said he noticed a profound shift in dynamic.

“We sparred on two different occasions,” he said. “When I sparred with him on the first occasion, which was even worse than the second time, I cut his nose, but it was all fun. We weren’t in there trying to kill each other.

“The next session was the one from where the footage leaked. Conor came in with his camera people, so at the same time, I told one of my friends to take out his phone and record it too.”

Van Heerden claimed that he did not give permission to either his gym or McGregor for anything that was recorded to be published in the public domain. But it was soon in the hands of TMZ, which did just that.

While it came as a shock, one that compelled him to leave the gym permanently, van Heerden said that the great bombshell arrived when McGregor’s website, the MacLife.com, also posted footage of their time in the ring.

Van Heerden said that their version was purposely edited in a manner that showed McGregor to be getting the better of their exchanges.

“Then TMZ released the footage, and I asked the gym owner how they got their hands on it,” he said. “They said they had spoken to Conor, who said it was OK to release the footage. But nobody had ever asked for my approval.”

“Conor McGregor’s team edited and posted footage for the MacLife of the sparring session between me and Conor, and it made me look very bad,” he said. “Then the media blew up, saying ‘Conor McGregor beats up ex-world champion boxer’ and all this.”

Believing his professional reputation was tarnished, van Heerden responded by publishing what had been filmed on his friend’s phone.

“I was in a bad place right there,” he said. “My world was crashing down, because why would these people do this? But I had footage from my friend’s phone, so after about a week of all this, I thought I’m not going to let Conor get away with this.

“So I put out the six-minute unedited version that my friend had, and people can judge from that. I gave it to TMZ, and suddenly, people were like maybe it wasn’t as one-sided as Conor made out.”

Van Heerden stated that there has been no communication with McGregor in the interim, which he took as a tacit admission of guilt.

“Once again, I was just having fun, and if I knew that was going to happen, I would have taken it way more serious,” he said. “Myself and Conor never spoke again after that footage came out, so I don’t think they were very happy with everything that went on. I think it’s because they know they done me bad first, and what goes around comes around.”

It must be said that neither McGregor nor his team has commented publicly on the matter.

But what of the fight itself? It should be noted that, aside from the titles he’s attained, van Heerden, who is currently ranked No.10 in the WBA welterweight rankings, has served as the main sparring partner for boxing luminaries Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Miguel Cotto, both of whom, incidentally, have been bested by Mayweather.

Furthermore, he spent considerable time under the tutelage of the revered Freddie Roach.

As such, he might just be better placed than anyone to speak to the likelihood of McGregor troubling a man who immeasurably raised the bar for what is considered marquee defensive pugilism.

During a recent interview on “The MMA Hour,” McGregor’s longtime striking coach, Owen Roddy, said that only he, SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh and current UFC featherweight Artem Lobov will be in the McGregor corner come fight night.

This, according to van Heerden, is a grave error. McGregor is likely to bring in figures from the boxing world to assist in his training, but it will not have the same efficacy as enlisting a genuine boxing coach.

“I would go and a beg a Freddie Roach or one of the best trainers in the world, and ask them to teach me whatever they can in the two months,” he said. “He needs to have a boxing trainer in his corner.”

That being said, van Heerden is positive that any gains McGregor might accrue at the knee of a fistic guru will be rendered useless as soon as Mayweather registers a clean connection.

“Whatever Conor has learned in boxing over the last year, the moment Mayweather starts tagging him, he is going forget all of that, and Floyd will make him pay,” he said. “After three or four rounds, Conor is going to realize that it is a different type of fitness. Mayweather is just going to keep tagging him, Conor will get frustrated, start throwing punches, then miss and start to gas. Mayweather will just keep punishing him and then put Conor on his back.”

Moreover, the South African insisted Mayweather’s patented defensive nous and evasive tactics will not be so prominent against McGregor, largely because they will not be required.

“It’s not like Mayweather is up against a guy with exceptional knowledge of boxing,” he said. “Floyd will walk him down, put him on the back foot, and Conor will go into survival mode, and then Mayweather will beat him up.

“Those are the type of punches that put you in the hospital – the ones where you keep taking punishment.”

And yet, van Heerden is an ardent admirer of McGregor’s skill set, which he was pleasantly surprised by, and does tenuously believe there is one, albeit fantastically unlikely, path to the greatest upset in sporting history.

“If he’s to have any chance, Conor, as quick as possible, must drop his chin, pick up his hands and go like a bull,” he said. “That’s my advice. He should take whatever he learns from this, go back to the UFC and keep dominating

“The way he fights in the UFC, he puts his chin out there to taunt you, and he puts his hands down, because he’s so good with that counter precision. He’s going to try that with Mayweather, and it’s not going to work.

“We’re finally going to prove that a boxer is on so much of a higher level than a UFC fighter when it comes to this type of standup fighting. It’s going to be a big win for boxing.”

Van Heerden has certainly felt the full backlash from McGregor’s fans – renowned for their ubiquity and raucousness on social media – for questioning the Dublin man’s prowess, but he’s sure it’ll be worthwhile should his hopes come to pass.

“I’ve spoken to Mayweather’s people, and I want to be on this card,” he said. “We’re No. 10 in the world on the WBA rankings, and I’m challenging Lamont Peterson (WBA welterweight champion). He doesn’t have an opponent, and he’s missed his mandatory 120-day title defense, so he should get off his couch and accept my challenge.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Floyd Mayweather will finish Conor McGregor by Round 3, boxing coach Angelo Reyes says

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It’s unlike Floyd Mayweather to come out firing when he fights, but boxing coach Angelo Reyes expects that to change against Conor McGregor.

Reyes, a disciple of legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, made a bold guarantee of how the fight will go down when the boxing legend and UFC lightweight champion clash in the ring during an appearance on MMAjunkie Radio.

“Mayweather will knock him out in three (rounds) or less,” Reyes said. “Everybody thinks, ‘Oh, well, Floyd is just going to dance around.’ Not in this fight. And he doesn’t dance around. I don’t think he dances around anyway. You have to truly understand the craft of boxing to really understand what he does.”

To back up his prediction, Reyes points to the outcomes of McGregor’s two fights with Nate Diaz, whose specialty is boxing. Diaz made McGregor tap out at UFC 196 in their first fight. In the rematch, McGregor scored a close majority-decision victory after a five-round war at UFC 202, which Reyes believes could be argued the other way.

“Arguable. I can argue it,” Reyes said. “(McGregor) didn’t dominate Nate Diaz. … I’m just saying that he didn’t beat the heck out of Nate Diaz.”

The way Reyes sees it, if McGregor couldn’t dominate a high-level boxer by MMA standards, there’s no way he stands a chance against one of the all-time legends of the sport.

Check out the clip above to hear more from Reyes on the matchup.

And for more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Al Iaquinta gives Conor McGregor chance vs. Floyd Mayweather: 'I hope he shocks the world'

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Not too many people are giving UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor a chance against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in their recently announced Aug. 26 encounter.

But the Irishman has found some perhaps surprising support in fellow UFC 155-pounder and resident truth-teller Al Iaquinta. While Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) does agree with the popular opinion that Mayweather (49-0 boxing) will most likely keep his record unblemished, he’s not counting McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) out.

“(McGregor)’s got the ability to surprise a lot of people,” Iaquinta told MMAjunkie Radio. “He’s been doing it since Day 1. I don’t think anyone’s in the position to doubt the guy.

“On the other hand, he’s fighting Floyd, who’s the best of the best. So, defensively, I think (Mayweather) can slow that fight down. He can make it a decision, doesn’t get hit, makes it look easy – doesn’t even really break a sweat kind of thing. I think that’s probably how it goes.”

One of the arguments made in favor of McGregor’s actual shot at winning the match is that Mayweather has a harder time dealing with southpaws – which is McGregor’s case. Iaquinta, however, was there in person to see Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao, also a southpaw, in their 2015 “Fight of the Century.”

So why does Iaquinta think McGregor has a chance?

“The reason I’m giving McGregor a chance is because he’s defied the odds – he’s backed up everything he says,” Iaquinta said. “The first time, you doubt him. The second time, you doubt him. The third time, you know, wherever we’re at right now, he’s talked a lot of (expletive) and he’s backed it up. Honestly, I hope he goes out there and I hope he shocks the world. I hope he does. I think it will be a great story.

“And Floyd Mayweather owes me a couple of grand from that (expletive) ticket I bought. It was the worst fight ever.”

The match between McGregor and Mayweather was announced and detailed this past week, putting an end to months of growing speculation. The two will meet at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, under boxing rules, in a 12-round, 154-pound (super welterweight) affair.

After all the cash that went into a ticket to the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao affair, would Iaquinta be willing to do the same to see McGregor try his luck? The answer is no, but he did go from a categorical “not a shot” to a tamer answer upon further reflection.

“I don’t know, though, there’s the shot that McGregor does something big,” Iaquinta said. “You know how crazy that’s going to be? That’s going to be insane. But I’m not going to buy a ticket, no.”

While he’s pulling for his fellow MMA fighter, Iaquinta also knows that Mayweather is the favorite. And he expects this favoritism to grow the further the fight progresses, making McGregor’s chances bigger within the first 15 minutes.

“I think (McGregor)’s got to hit him with a hard left hand pretty early,” Iaquinta said.

But, whatever happens, one thing’s for sure.

“I’m keeping it real,” Iaquinta said. “I think if it goes the way it’s supposed to go, it’s going to be 12 rounds. And who knows if Conor can even go 12 rounds with the guy. He gets a little tired later, gets a little sloppy. But Floyd’s getting up there. He’s never been really a finisher. I don’t know.

“I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll be watching. It’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be a spectacle.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Ice Cube willing to change T-Mobile Arena booking for Mayweather-McGregor – for the right price

Oh, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are fighting in a boxing match on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las vegas?

You better check yo self before you wreck yo self. Ice Cube already has the date and venue booked.

The rapper and actor, who runs the fledgling BIG3, finds himself in a standoff of sorts with the folks behind the Mayweather-McGregor fight. The 3-on-3 basketball league had already locked in its championship game for Aug. 26 at T-Mobile before Mayweather-McGregor was announced last week.

It seemed as though Ice Cube and the BIG3 were digging in last Friday when the league’s official Twitter handle tweeted this, perhaps as a message that they wouldn’t budge:

But now it sounds like Ice Cube is ready to soften his stance – for the right price, of course.

“If they do what they’re supposed to do and make us happy, yeah, we’ll move,” he said during Monday’s episode of “Undisputed” on FS1. “We’re talking about it. I think we can get there.”

TMZ, citing sources connected to the Mayweather-McGregor fight, reports the plan is to move the BIG3 championship game to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. As of Monday afternoon, T-Mobile Arena was still selling tickets for the BIG3 title game on its web site.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie