Mayweather vs. McGregor: Early reactions from Woodley, Florian, Tate, Evans, Melendez, Stann, Anik, more

By Wade Keller, MMATorch editor

Official Mayweather vs. McGregor poster

On FS1’s “UFC Tonight,” several current and former UFC fighters and announcers gave their initial thoughts on the just-announced Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight later this summer. Here’s a diverse mix of comments from them…

•Kenny Florian on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and what this means for McGregor: “I’m still trying to figure out what dimension we’re in. We’ve never seen anything like this. Conor McGregor has done some amazing things in mixed martial arts. He’s a two weight champion in the UFC, he’s broken UFC PPV records, and now he’s fighting the best boxer in our generation in Floyd. This is amazing.”

•Florian on McGregor’s edge over Mayweather: “The biggest thing Conor has is he doesn’t move like a boxer. Boxers are used to fighting boxers. So those first three to six minutes might be difficult for Floyd. He’s experienced, but boxers move very different.”

•Florian on the stakes for McGregor: “If you beat Floyd, you retired the best boxer of all time. If Floyd makes Conor look silly, it might be bad for Conor. But it’s not Conor’s sport. He doesn’t have much to lose. If he gets knocked out in two minutes, it could hurt his brand. But if he wins, I don’t know if we’ll ever see him again.”

•Florian on if this will help expose more people to MMA: “This is an opportunity for more people to learn about MMA and the UFC. Plus, this opens up a whole new landscape for fighters. For the potential. It’ll show people it is possible to get a 100-million-dollar payday.”

•Tyron Woodley: “I told you. All the barbershop fans who said it wasn’t going to happen, this is a larger-than-life opportunity. It would be crazy for this fight to not happen. I’m excited to watch it from an entertainment standpoint, a competitive standpoint, and for a legacy standpoint. This is an amazing opportunity for both these guys.”

•Woodley: “I’m excited to watch it from an entertainment standpoint, a competitive standpoint, and for a legacy standpoint.”

•Woodley on if McGregor fights in the UFC again after this: “I think it depends on what happens in the fight. If he knocks out Floyd, they’ll fight again in a boxing match. If he loses, then no shame in his game. He’ll come back and fight in the UFC.”

•Woodley on McGregor being an underdog: “Conor and I have had our differences, but at that money, I’ll put money down on his. This kid does not care. He has an unconventional style.”

•Woodley on Mayweather’s experience: “Floyd changes his styles in fights and adapts quickly. He has four or five styles. He might come out aggressive. Conor has never seen a boxer with the ability to make the adjustments. Guys who are aggressive toward Floyd, he makes them miss, and miss badly.”

•Woodley comments (video) on whether Conor might box again if he beats Mayweather: HERE

•Woodley and Florian on how McGregor will adjust to fighting a boxer as elite at Floyd Mayweather: HERE

•Miesha Tate: “It will be interesting to see how this thing plays out. Clearly Floyd is the better boxer, but what no one is taking into account is just how good Conor is at the mental game.”

•Rashad Evans: “I think this fight is amazing. Not so much that I think it will be competitively close, but that two of the best combat sports have been able to make this fight happen. Mayweather is arguably the greatest boxer of all time going against McGregor, who has such a strong belief in himself that it seems he manifests his victories as if he has some sort of magical power. Win, lose, or draw, I finally and forever become a true McGregor fan because he continues to challenge himself and the norms of society.”

•Gilbert Melendez: “This is a huge day for combat sports. For the first time ever, an MMA/UFC champion will cross over into the world of boxing and challenge arguably the best boxer of our time. It’s a risk, it’s dangerous, and I want to see it. Can Conor win? Can he even touch Floyd? Most likely not, but you can’t deny Conor has power in his left and I want to see what happens if it lands. At the end of the day, it’s the entertainment business and this is the Money Fight.”

•Yves Edwards: “Conor McGregor is making his boxing debut in what could be the biggest fight in boxing’s history. That’s a testament to his star power. However, it’s a boxing match and, as fantastic as Conor has been, I’m taking Mayweather.”

•Brian Stann on being eager to past this big fight: “Conor is a special athlete and entertainer. I’m happy for him to get this tremendous opportunity. He has earned it. I am also anxious for this event to be over so the UFC lightweight champion can face the top contenders in MMA’s most talented division.”

•Todd Grisham: “Am I excited for the fight? Yes! Will it probably be a boring, one-sided fight? Yes! But who cares? The buildup will be amazing and it will be a fight we will remember forever, no matter what happens. I can’t wait.”

•Jon Anik: “What a time to be alive! It is absolutely remarkable that Conor McGregor, in a relatively short amount of time, became the biggest money fight for Floyd Mayweather. From Conor’s standpoint, I like the fact that the fight is at 154 pounds, which is right in his wheelhouse. I’m not saying he’s going to win the fight, but I certainly will be betting on him and give him a better chance than most.”

NOW CHECK THIS OUT: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 6/15: Dana says whenever Conor hits people, they fall, so it’s going to be interesting (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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