When UFC superstar Conor McGregor squared off against boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather in August of 2017, the end result was the second most lucrative prizefight in combat sports history behind 2015’s Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao blockbuster. 4.3 million purchased the hundred bucks-a-pop pay-per-view event, making it the second most successful event in pay-per-view history. McGregor reportedly walked away with a final cut of $80 million for the night’s work while Mayweather pocketed $275 million.
So, why not do it again?
McGregor’s UFC odds are much more favorable when matched up against fellow MMA fighters in the UFC Octagon. It’s his sport, after all, and it’s the sport in which he grew to be a superstar. But the draw of the money has to be there, even if fighting in the boxing ring puts him at a competitive disadvantage.
Most recently, the brash Irishman took a tough loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bid to win the Russian’s UFC lightweight title for considerably less money than he got for being stopped by Mayweather in the tenth round of their contest.
What’s holding up a revisiting of the Mayweather-McGregor saga is, apparently, Mayweather, himself. The undefeated five-division world champ and future first ballot Hall of Famer claims to have zero interest in meeting McGregor again in the ring and he has said so repeatedly.
“Boy, boy, boy, boy, boy…these kids are some circus clowns,” Money recently told gossip site TMZ when asked about Team McGregor clamoring for a second shot at beating him. “They can’t f–k with Money May. They gonna keep coming my way. At the end of the day, I keep laughing, I keep living, I keep going to the bank.”
McGregor feels that with some tweaks in training and a greater focus on conditioning for a full twelve-round fight he could’ve beaten Mayweather.
“I feel with just a little change in certain areas of the prep,” McGregor posted via social media after the bout, “we could have built the engine for 12 full rounds under stress, and got the better result on the night.”
It’s doubtful, however, that the UFC star will get a second crack at the retired boxing legend. But if the boxing bug is in him (and it may be, given that he fought an exhibition boxing bout for charity in Ireland this past April), there are other boxers who would gladly answer his call.
Regis Prograis, who is currently the WBA junior welterweight world champion, has called McGregor out after McGregor challenged his manager, actor Mark Wahlberg, to a fight via social media.
“Don’t call out no actors, dawg,” Prograis answered. “Call out a real world champion. I’m a hurt your a**!”
The undefeated champ says that he’d make a two-fight deal with McGregor, taking him on in the boxing ring first and then in the UFC Octagon— and promises that he’d win both.
“I’ll fight you in the ring first, and I’m definitely going to whoop your a**. Then, I’m going to fight you in the Octagon, and whoop your a** in there!”
Of course, the money for McGeregor-Prograis would not be anywhere near the money for Mayweather-McGregor. Plus, the risk to McGregor might be greater against a big-punching offense-minded battler like Prograis rather than a defense-heavy counter-puncher like Mayweather.
But, if a boxing challenge is what he’s looking for, McGregor certainly has options beyond Mayweather.