Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, a fight that was once considered nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt was made official today. The two will square off in a boxing match at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Aug. 26.
Yahoo’s Kevin Iole was first to break the news and UFC President Dana White appeared on ESPN Wednesday evening to make an official announcement. The fight will be held at 154 pounds – known as Super Welterweight or Junior Middleweight in the boxing world and will be contested with 12-ounce gloves over 10 rounds under traditional boxing rules as sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Rumors that the fight was close to being made heated up this week when word got out that Mayweather Promotions had put a hold on the Aug. 26 date at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The Nevada Athletic Commission approved the application today, only for the bigger T-Mobile Arena. A 3-on-3 basketball event had been scheduled at T-Mobile for the same day and will likely be rescheduled or moved.
White also said on ESPN that he expects McGregor back fighting in UFC later this year. White will also appear on Fox Sports 1’s UFC Tonight to share more details on the monumental fight.
It may still be a publicity stunt, but with individual purses in the nine figure range, it’s no longer cheap – and now it’s real.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s unbelievable that this is actually happening. What’s also hard to believe is the visceral excitement that I am feeling personally and that I’m sensing from fans on social media. I was never high on the fight or its prospects but now that it has come to fruition, there’s nothing to gain from fighting it and I’m very much looking forward to August 26. The 154 weight was a bit of a surprise as Mayweather typically fights much lighter than that. We’ve seen the difficulty McGregor had making 145 in UFC so this pretty much puts to bed any speculation that he would ever make that cut again, as Mayweather probably could have insisted on it if it was realistic. McGregor’s future in UFC and MMA is very much up in the air with this announcement. His future very much depends on how this fight does business wise, and how McGregor performs in the ring. If it’s a big commercial success, but he lays an egg as a boxer, McGregor still may have to go back to UFC as there won’t be many other boxing opportunities for him to make that kind of money. This fight and the build up to it are almost surely to be the biggest story in MMA this year.
Wanderlei lacks self-control
Wanderlei Silva does not even trust himself to be in the same room as Chael Sonnen.
During Tuesday’s media conference call promoting their pay-per-view fight on June 24, Silva said that the reason he skipped out on a scheduled press conference last week was not because he was sick, as he originally stated, but because he doesn’t feel he can restrain himself from attacking Sonnen if they end up in the same room.
“The truth is I no go to the press conference because I don’t want to do what Cyborg do to that girl that talked sh*t about her,” the “Axe Murderer,” said. “When I [see] Chael, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I’m a professional, but this guy crossed the line with me and played with the wrong guy.”
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino notably threw a punch at UFC strawweight Angela Magana at the UFC Athlete Retreat in Las Vegas last month. Magana, much like Sonnen has of Silva, had been prodding and insulting Cyborg on social media.
With the fight less than two weeks away, Sonnen was unsure why the two couldn’t just wait until June 24 to settle their differences in the confines of a Bellator cage rather than resort to an unsanctioned press-conference brawl. Sonnen did, however, leave a final warning for Silva if he does choose to try something in the time leading up to the fight.
“What’s the goddamn difference? Let’s just fight on June 24,” Sonnen said. “How about that?
“Wanderlei Silva, you attacked me. That happened. If you attack me, I’m gonna do some very bad things to you within the rules. If you attack me in front of my wife, there are no rules.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s fun to watch Silva and Sonnen play off each other here because they each are coming from two opposite ends of the spectrum. Silva is deadly serious that he doesn’t have the self-restraint to not hit Sonnen if he sees him and is putting every ounce of emotion he has into righting the wrongs Sonnen committed over the years. Contrarily, Sonnen is just out there to promote a fight and has zero interest in engaging with Silva physically until he is going to get paid for it. Sonnen looked outright horrible when he fought Tito Ortiz earlier this year, but he’s been effective in erasing that memory by talking up this fight.
Wednesday Notebook Items…
-Both Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will take part in out-of-competition testing prior to their June 24 fight according to The MMA Report.
-Jose Aldo’s coach Andre Pederneiras told Fox Fight Club that Aldo had a leg injury going into his fight with Max Holloway at UFC 212 earlier this month. “We avoided the kicks because of this injury,” Pederneiras said. “We were afraid it would strain his muscle.”
-Saturday’s UFC Fight Night from Auckland, New Zealand averaged 923,000 viewers for the show headlined by Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt. The show peaked for the main event thanks to some quick finishes earlier on the main card.
-UFC featherweight Arnold Allen was handed down a 5-month suspended sentence for his part in a December brawl near Suffolk, England. Allen most recently fought on UFC’s event from London in March, picking up a split decision win over Makwan Amirkhani.
-The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has started a charitable fund to benefit retired combat sports athletes. Referee “Big” John McCarthy will be one of the fund’s seven board members.