Conor McGregor has already dominated the UFC by winning multiple championship titles and becoming a superstar of MMA fighting. Now he wants more.
Specifically, he wants boxer Floyd Mayweather.
The two fighters have gone back and forth on social media for weeks about a potential bout—with UFC president Dana White also chiming in and offering $25 million to the fighters—but an actual bout looked like more of a fantasy than anything.
As of Monday, Consider that old news. Over the weekend, McGregor and Mayweather both offered updates on the potential fight, and it’s looking more possible than ever before.
First, McGregor took the stage for an hour-long interview with MMAFighting.com for An Experience With Conor McGregor on Saturday in Manchester, U.K., to talk about his career and future—and boy, did he talk. McGregor started off with a pretty fiery message on Instagram before heading in (Ed.’s note: salty talk ahead.):
When asked about the fight with Mayweather, McGregor spoke in pretty absolute terms during the interview, saying he thinks it will happen eventually:
“One hundred percent,” McGregor said. “I believe the next time I step into a combat arena will be through the ropes wearing 10-ounce or eight-ounce gloves. I believe so.
“He’s the scared side—let’s be honest. He’s not trying to have a real fight. He needs rules to protect him. I don’t need rules. So he can say he’s this and he’s that, but in reality, he’s scared sh*tless. He is scared sh*itless. If I decide to just fight him straight-up – look, f*ck the UFC, f*ck MMA, f*ck boxing, f*ck sports fighting. Let’s just say we fight. It’d be the easiest fight ever.
Ever the showman himself, “Money” Mayweather responded on Showtime while attending the fight between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton in Las Vegas:
“I believe the fight can happen,” Mayweather told announcer Jim Gray. “Conor McGregor, he’s a tough competitor. He’s proved throughout the years in the UFC that he can fight standing up. So we’ll just have to see what the future holds. … Can we make this fight happen? Absolutely. That’s what everyone wants to see.”
— Fancy Combat (@FancyCombat) January 29, 2017
But someone wasn’t so enthusiastic about the prospects of a fight: Dana White. Speaking at a press conference after UFC Fight Night on Saturday, the UFC president said the chances of the fight were “about the same as me being the backup quarterback for [New England Patriots quarterback Tom] Brady on Sunday [at the Super Bowl].”
White did hedge a bit, but scoffed at the notion that McGregor would promote without the UFC’s banner: “I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall,” White said.
Expect to Mayweather and McGregor to continue going back and forth over the prospects of a fight—but this time around, it might actually happen.