Conor McGregor on using homophobic slur: 'I meant no disrespect' to LGBT community

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UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor today apologized for his use of a homophobic slur in an exchange caught on tape, saying he meant “no disrespect” to the LGBT community.

During a taped appearance on the Irsh TV show “The Late Late Show,” McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) told Ryan Tubridy he was overwhelmed by emotion following the loss of longtime teammate Artem Lobov (13-14-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) and let his words get away from him.

“I witnessed him lose a fight in a potential career-defining or a career-ending fight in a manner where the opponent was stalling and running away, and I was upset,” McGregor said. “I was whispering in his ear, and I was speaking on that, and I said what I said. I meant no disrespect to nobody, to anybody in the LGBT community.”

McGregor defended his record with the LGBT community, citing his efforts to legalize gay marriage in Ireland.

“I was campaigning for that,” McGregor said. “It’s another one where things just get blown out. Any chance they get, they love to throw me under the bus. I just have to say sorry for what I said and try and move on from it.”

It’s not the first time McGregor’s words have landed him in hot water.

During a promotional tour for his blockbuster “Money Fight” opposite boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather in August, McGregor drew heavy criticism for racially tinged language and defended himself as “very multi-cultural and a very multi-cultured individual.”

McGregor’s latest remarks came to light when video was posted of his walk backstage with Lobov at UFC Fight Night 118. Comforting Lobov after a unanimous-decision loss to Andre Fili, the UFC champ said, “I thought you were going to sleep him. All I’m saying, he’s a (expletive). I never knew he was a (expletive).”

The exchange came after McGregor was warned by referee Marc Goddard for attempting to corner Lobov in violation of the rules, prompting UFC officials to restrain him during the fight, which took place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

Lobov later hinted at retirement following his loss. McGregor said the experience of watching his friend and teammate was deeply upsetting, to the point where he couldn’t control himself.

“I was watching a fighter, a sparring partner, a friend, a brother of mine who was giving his health – his body health, his brain health, everything – to help me prepare for fights to give my brain health and my body health to entertain the public,” McGregor said. “That’s the fighter I was going to watch and support.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

No, Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is not a new low point for sports or culture

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Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps raced a great white shark on TV last night. Maybe you heard about it. It was a classically ridiculous man-vs.-beast type deal in a much-hyped Discovery special that left many viewers very, very angry.

Was it because the whole thing was absurd on its face? No, it was because Phelps didn’t race a real shark, but instead a CGI simulation.

This is important to remember as we build to the Aug. 26 fight between Conor McGregor 21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing). It tells us something about the times we’re living in, even if the mainstream coverage of the fight would have us believe that the sky will fall the minute these two step in the ring together. Consider these recent headlines.

Even Golf Digest bashed this fight, which is how you know is must be bad (but also good for web traffic).

All around the sports world and beyond, people are mad (online) about this fight. And not just mad, either. They’re one step away from retreating to their bunkers with gas masks and can openers to wait out the collapse of society.

Pierce calls it “a glorified cholera outbreak.” Leitch says it will make “ the living envy the dead.” Poetic license? Let’s hope so.

But the hyperbole serves to carry forth the real message, which is that these people look at this fight and see something uniquely, disgustingly awful. Even worse, it’s bound to be extremely profitable, which is apparently where it goes from being a bad idea to a harbinger of cultural doom.

After all, these same people didn’t care much when it was James Toney out of his depth against Randy Couture in an MMA fight. The sin here seems to be not just that it’s happening, but that people will be watching.

I see their point, in a way. Especially after a four-city press tour that saw a downward spiral of verbal vitriol, nobody involved in this fight – not the fighters or the promoters or the guy who carries around Mayweather’s backpack – came out looking good. It was a race to the bottom that ended in a tie. There were ushers at those venues who are probably too embarrassed now to list the job on their resumes.

That was the sales pitch, filled with ugly, uncomfortable taunts, and it was a bad one. But if the goal was to get people outside the combat sports bubble talking about this fight, it clearly worked. Their problem was that they didn’t think it through enough to know what they were really selling. Instead they went for shock value, and then they had no choice but to keep going.

This fight is about novelty. The whole premise is that it’s an idea so bad you’ve got to see it for yourself. There is no reason to think that an MMA fighter with zero pro boxing experience can beat the greatest boxer in a generation at his own game, but the sheer absurdity of his insistence on trying – all while acting like victory and not just survival is a foregone conclusion – is what makes it a compelling curiosity.

There is absolutely no way that McGregor should win. The non-zero chance that he might is the same dumb “what if” that keeps people buying lottery tickets.

It will be one of the biggest boxing matches ever, and it’ll be far more spectacle than sport. But are we seriously going to act like it’s a sign of some cultural apocalypse?

If you want to get mad about the fact that Mayweather is a known abuser of women, yet still making millions upon millions to fight, that’s fine, I’m with you. In that case, you need to be as outraged about his past fights as you are about this one, but still, there’s a case to be made.

If you want to get angry about the way the trash talk on the press tour got stupid before getting truly asinine? You’re on solid footing there, too.

But the fight itself is so of our time that it feels almost too perfect. It’s not the monster that devours our culture. It’s the monster built and sustained by our culture.

In this fight you have the meeting of two different combat sports, each its own separate world, but united by the constant need for the type of attention that translates into sales. The established team sports don’t have this problem. They don’t understand the carnival pressure of getting customers into the tent. Combat sports have to be creative to reach out beyond that small group of people who will show up to watch any two humans fight each other.

Taking the two biggest stars from two different sports and flinging them violently against each other is exactly the kind of thing that our fame-addicted, ranking-loving culture would do. The same childlike impulse that makes us want to take two different things (say, a man and a shark) and race them? That’s the impulse that explains this fight.

It might be stupid, but we’ll tolerate stupid. The only thing we’ll really revolt against, as Phelps and the CGI shark discovered, is not getting the exact brand of stupid we were promised.

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

A legal battle over ownership of the term 'fight sports' ends in victory for Fight Network

Who owns the term “fight sports”? Can anyone trademark a term so generic as to refer to a broad range of athletic activity, from kickboxing to MMA?

These were the questions in a recent lawsuit involving CSI Entertainment Inc., a New York-based video content distributor that accused Canada’s Fight Network of infringing on two of its federally registered trademarks. The case ended with CSI’s claims to the terms and its request for a preliminary injunction being dismissed, essentially limiting what any one party can claim to own in this sport.

The trademarks in question? The terms “fight sports” and “fight sports network,” both of which CSI registered in 2006, but which it had been using in business dealings since 2003, back when MMA and combat sports were still reaching out for a foothold in mainstream American consciousness.

According to Jim Genia, an MMA journalist and author (and former MMAjunkie contributor) who was called as expert witness in the case, the timing of the trademarks proved to be important.

“Before MMA was big and before anyone was really paying attention to it, (CSI) trademarked the terms like ‘fight sport,’” Genia told MMAjunkie. “Which, if the patent office was paying attention, there’s no way in hell they would have given someone a trademark on something that broad. It’s like trying to trademark the term ‘food.’ It’s too broad and ubiquitous.”

The two companies clashed first in 2007, when CSI sent a cease and desist letter to Fight Network over its use of the trademarked terms. After Fight Network responded in a letter denying any trademark infringement due to the “generic” nature of the terms, CSI seemed to let the matter drop.

But shortly after Fight Network moved into the U.S. market in 2014, things heated up again. With the signing of U.S. distribution deals, Fight Network President Anthony Cicione said, “We felt it was time to stand our ground.”

In 2015 the parties went to court over CSI’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop Fight Network from using the trademarked terms during litigation.

Christopher Serbagi, the intellectual property attorney who eventually scored the final legal victory for Fight Network and its parent company Anthem Media Group in the case, said he was confident of success early on. But in a sport in which the UFC has successfully laid claim to, among other things, the shape of an octagon, no legal outcome could be considered certain.

“There’s no such thing as a slam-dunk case, but we did feel confident about it,” Serbagi said. “The more we looked into it, the more weaknesses we saw in their position. At trial they weren’t even able to explain how they came up with the phrase or were they got it from. The reason why is they got it from commonly used parlance in the industry.”

That would prove to be a significant factor in the outcome of a motion for preliminary injunction filed in U.S. District Court in New York. According to Serbagi, commonly used industry terms can be considered proprietary due to the work of the original trademark owner. If the specific term becomes associated with your brand because of your efforts in the marketplace, your trademark may hold up.

But under cross-examination, Serbagi managed to get Glory kickboxing CEO Jon Franklin to admit that “fight sports” and “combat sports” were essentially synonymous terms referring to the same thing, making it harder for CSI to continue claiming that its trademarked term was proprietary. (Representatives for CSI did not respond to a request for comment on this story.)

“I eventually got their own witness to admit that the trademark was generic, by getting them to admit that combat sports and fight sports are the same thing,” Serbagi said. “It was one of those Perry Mason moments in a courtroom that don’t come very often.”

The plaintiff’s cross-examination efforts didn’t go over so well, according to Genia, who said he felt the tide turning when the judge in the case interjected to ask him questions about Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, the late Internet brawler turned MMA fighter.

“Under cross-examination, the attorney is trying to trip you up, undermine your credibility,” Genia said. “‘At one point he brought up ‘Kimbo Slice,’ and I was a judge for ‘Kimbo’s’ first (sanctioned) fight. I thought he was a nice guy, all that. So then the judge stops and says, ‘Excuse me, tell us more about ‘Kimbo.’ What was he like?’ That’s a sign that, as an attorney, you’re failing. If the judge is more interested in ‘Kimbo’ than your line of questioning, you failed.”

In the end, Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes’ denied the injunction request, concluding that the trademarks in question were not entitled to protection and ruling against CSI, which he said had not shown irreparable harm or public confusion as a result of the trademark dispute.

For now, at least, it would seem that no one owns fight sports.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Video: 'Bad Lip Reading' perfectly roasts Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour

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The folks over at “Bad Lip Reading” are famous for their hilarious videos, and they knocked it out of the park in roasting the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Mayweather (49-0 boxing) face off Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time.

Their world tour started out strong in Los Angeles and Toronto but became off-putting by the time it reached New York and London. This video should provide some laughs and serve as a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Watch it out above. And to check out more “Bad Lip Reading” videos, click here.

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

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Did John Kavanagh double down on Conor McGregor wanting Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia?

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GLASGOW – Conor McGregor’s coach said the UFC lightweight champion is “very motivated” to return to the octagon in December after his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

And if we’re picking up what John Kavanagh is putting down, it turns out Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) is indeed McGregor’s No. 1 target.

“He seems very, very motivated to go to Russia in December,” Kavanagh told reporters during media day for UFC Fight Night 113, which takes place Sunday at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. “I don’t know if he’s been watching Rocky IV or something like that.”

Since McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) booked a blockbuster fight with boxing champ Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) , a growing chorus of fighters and industry professionals have questioned whether the UFC champ will return to the octagon if “The Money Fight” cashes in as expected.

But UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie that not only does McGregor plan to continue fighting in MMA, he wants to take on the opponent many in the MMA world believe to be his toughest possible challenge.

“He said, ‘I want Khabib in Russia,’” White said this past month in an exclusive interview. “Isn’t he (expletive) awesome? He’s awesome. Conor McGregor is a (expletive) unicorn. There’s nothing like him. He’s working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he’s talking about fighting Khabib in Russia right after.”

With that said, White has cautioned there’s no way to be sure of McGregor’s plans – the Irish champ is a pretty unpredictable guy. And White did say this past weekend that he wanted to see Nurmagomedov finally face off with top contender Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC). After Nurmagomedov got some education on proper weight-cutting at the
UFC Performance Institute, White said he wanted to give the matchup another shot.

Still, McGregor’s longtime coach and confidant is a pretty good source when it comes to McGregor’s plans. The pair wrapped the first phase of training for “The Money Fight” and will be back at it next week, trying to formulate the plan that will turn the combat sports world on its head.

Right now, McGregor is trying to get inside Mayweather’s head as the two embark on a four-city tour in support of the pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Although most industry veterans say McGregor has no chance against Mayweather, boxing’s pound-for-pound great, Kavanagh said the transition from MMA to boxing is not as difficult as most make it out to be.

“(McGregor is) not trying to win Wimbledon – it’s not that different,” he said. “The understanding of range and how to move around, a lot of his fights have ended with that left hand. It’s not completely different.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor” and UFC Fight Night 113, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Floyd Mayweather apologized to Dana White during May-Mac world tour in Toronto, but why?

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Money is a powerful thing, isn’t it?

UFC President Dana White and Floyd Mayweather have bad-mouthed each other plenty through the years, with White clowning Mayweather’s style of boxing and Mayweather firing back to defend himself.

On Wednesday, though, during the Toronto stop of the Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour, Mayweather surprised us. In the middle of bashing McGregor, Mayweather took a moment, walked over to White, looked him in the face, offered compliments, and apologized.

“Dana, I could never disrespect you,” Mayweather said at Budweiser stage. “I’ve known you for 21 years. You’ve done a helluva job with this company. And I want to continue to watch you grow. I want to watch you continue to build the UFC, because it’s all about combat sports. You’ve done a helluva job.

“No matter what I said about you in the past, as a man I look in your face and apologize and tell you I’m sorry. You’ve done a helluva job with this company.”

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Mayweather (49-0 boxing) will square off Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event that is expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time. It didn’t always seem like it would happen, though, and the relationship between White and Mayweather was a major sticking point.

Early on, before negotiations for a fight between the boxing legend and UFC lightweight champion were even a serious thought, White made a public offer to pay Mayweather $25 million to take the fight. To which Mayweather responded by calling White “a (expletive) comedian.” That wasn’t so long ago, and tension existed heading into negotiations.

So what gives now? Mayweather explained after Wednesday’s press conference.

“Dana White used to come over to my house every day,” Mayweather said, via MMAFighting.com. “I’ve been knowing Dana White 21 years. I’m big enough to apologize to Dana White. I’m a real man; that’s what real men do. I’m man enough to apologize. I’ve said some stuff about Dana. I’m only human. He takes shots at me; I take shots back. I’m only human. I’m not upset with Dana White, I’m not upset with anybody.”

How could he be? White also allowed McGregor to do this fight that will easily bank Mayweather north of $100 million.

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

Dana White's May-Mac world tour video blog, No. 1: Welcome to America, Conor McGregor

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The Floyd-Mayweather-Conor McGregor world tour is in full swing this week, and the UFC has rolled out a behind-the-scenes Dana White video blog for the four-city event.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Mayweather (49-0 boxing) fight on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time.

In Episode 1 of this video blog series, White’s jet lands in Los Angeles for the first stop of the world tour, and it just so happens that Conor McGregor’s does at the same time. White heads to FOX Sports to make a couple of TV-show appearances, where he shares Mcgregor’s prediction for the fight. White also runs into “Chilli” from the R&B group TLC while shopping in Beverly Hills.

Check out the full episode above.

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

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The power of Conor McGregor, according to Dana White

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LOS ANGELES – UFC President Dana White thinks for a second about the time he first met Conor McGregor in early 2013, when he was on the verge of coming to the UFC.

Could White have imagined this 24-year-old Irish kid from Dublin, a then-two-division Cage Warrior champion, would be in this position? That McGregor four-and-a-half years later would potentially rake in $100 million to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match?

“No,” White says bluntly.

But then he immediately recognizes that a simple “no” answer doesn’t suffice.

“I mean, listen, you guys have heard this story a million times,” White continues, “where I say I flew (McGregor) to Vegas, we went to dinner, I called (then-UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) when I got into the car, and I said, ‘I don’t know if this kid can fight, but if he can even throw a punch, he’s going to be a huge star.’ What this guy has turned into and what he’s become is incredible. I call him the unicorn. He’s unlike anybody I’ve ever dealt with.”

And so here we are on the verge of a combat sports crossover event the likes of which we’ve never seen. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Mayweather (49-0 boxing) fight on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time.

On Tuesday, McGregor kicked off a four-city world tour with Mayweather at Staples Center, and it was filled with all the madness we expected from their first face-to-face encounter. To arrive here, McGregor has been bold and brash and called his shots in becoming the first fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold championships in two weight-classes.

This is the biggest thing White has ever “been a part of as fan or professionally.” And for McGregor, it’s a long way from collecting a $235 welfare check the week before his UFC debut.

“It’s impossible to sit there and be in his presence and not love the guy,” White said. “He’s got a great personality; he’s hilarious. His belief in himself is incredibly powerful. Everything he’s ever said he would do he has done.”

Even the things White didn’t want – like taking this boxing match with Mayweather.

White was against it before eventually caving in. He also didn’t want McGregor to fight Nate Diaz a second time at 170 pounds after McGregor was choked out in their first meeting.

But then McGregor avenged the defeat via majority decision.

“Look how that turned out. He was right,” White said. “So, I stopped doubting this guy. I don’t doubt him anymore.”

And because of the UFC lightweight champion’s journey to reach this pivotal moment of his career, White warns against doubting his guy could pull off what many believe is impossible.

“This kid has done everything that he said he would do in his UFC career,” White said. “We’ll see what happens here in this Floyd Mayweather fight. He’s got 12 rounds to hit him, and I believe that Conor will hit him. He will catch him. And if he hurts him, he’s finished.”

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

Let's talk about Conor McGregor's suit and the sheer raging Mayweather-McGregor spectacle

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I’ve been thinking since yesterday, and I have to admit: The suit worked on me.

You know the suit I’m talking about. The pinstripe one. The one that Conor McGregor wore to his first press conference with Floyd Mayweather in Los Angeles. The one that said “F*CK YOU” all over it.

The thing is, McGregor told us what we’d see if we zoomed in on the pinstripes. I thought he was kidding. I thought, at most he means it figuratively. As in, the suit is so lavish that it’s as if the pinstripes are saying this to you.

That was my mistake. I forgot what kind of event this was, how it was clearly not the venue for subtlety or metaphor or anything but the most in-your-face brand of literalism.

It was a boxing press conference, for crying out loud. It began with a musical number and ended with a jawing face-off that lasted well over a minute. If you can’t wear those pinstripes here, where can you wear them? It’s the kind of outfit that might be frowned upon down at the polo grounds.

But this is the unspoken promise of the McGregor-Mayweather fight. Whether you’re expecting a competitive bout or not, the one thing you can be assured of is that the lead up to it will be an absolute circus.

There will be insults based on each man’s recent past. There will be lots of yelling. There will be literal dancing girls. A lackey will be called upon to deliver a backpack containing a check that Mayweather (49-0 boxing) will show us for reasons that remain somewhat unclear. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will find a way to swear at us with finely tailored clothing.

This is an enormous part of the fight’s appeal. It’s the sheer raging spectacle of it all. The greatest boxer in a generation is going to fight a man with no pro boxing experience, and they’re going to charge nearly double the usual pay-per-view price to see it.

They’ll get it, too, largely because of a relentless, screaming sales job that preys upon our desire to see something uniquely outrageous.

We’re a difficult group to surprise these days. In some ways that’s working in favor of this fight, since it’s part of what makes us willing to even consider taking this pairing seriously. McGregor’s going to box the best boxer? Eh, we’ve seen weirder, or at least close to it.

The downside is that you really have to try in order to shock us. Simply threatening to kick each other’s butts (albeit in more colorful language than that) won’t do it. You’ve got to find some way of reminding us that this is a special kind of fun. Even if at times special becomes a synonym for stupid.

The first stop on the tour dipped a toe into those waters, but you could almost feel both men pacing themselves. They’ll trade barbs over Mayweather’s taxes or McGregor’s tapouts, but they’ll save the more high-voltage stuff for later. They know what this is. How could they not?

The rest of us, we’d better make sure to enjoy this part while it lasts. Whether we realize it or not, this is a big part of what we’re paying for – and the experience has already begun.

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

Video: Relive the madness that was Mayweather vs. McGregor world tour – Los Angeles

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5503477516001
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LOS ANGELES – Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor came face to face for the first time today at Staples Center for press conference No. 1 of their world tour.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) will fight on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event that is expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time.

Their much-anticipated first meeting today in Los Angeles delivered on entertainment and chaos as expected, and MMAjunkie was there for it all.

Check out highlights above. Or for the press conference in its entirety, click below.

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

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5503452062001
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie