Let’s get this out of the way as quickly as possible. Unless Floyd Mayweather is a paying UFC customer, he has absolutely no business being anywhere near an MMA octagon. That’s the bottom line. He’s aging, has taken loads of physical damage in his career, and has as much experience as I do when it comes to any martial arts style outside of boxing. The comparisons of him in MMA to Conor McGregor in boxing are mind numbing and incorrect. McGregor isn’t a professional boxer, but he practices boxing. He boxes regularly as an MMA fighter. Mayweather does not have that same base for Brazilian jujitsu, wrestling, or any other fight discipline needed to succeed in the UFC. Yet, there was Dana White on ESPN yesterday fanning the flames of Mayweather/UFC rumors and letting the world know that negotiations had begun between the UFC and the money team to sign Mayweather for a fight under their banner. Mayweather denied it outright. If this all seems eerily familiar, that’s because it is. This setup and strategical planting of seeds is identical to what we saw near the beginning stages of Mayweather vs. McGregor. Because of that we know to never say never, but Mayweather in the UFC is closer to an impossibility than it is to a certainty. It’s an idea that’s beyond awful and everyone knows it.
What if though? What if the stars aligned, a rash of bad choices were made, money grew on trees, and Floyd Mayweather actually did sign his name on a UFC contract? Who would he fight? Who should he fight? The list isn’t long, but five fighters come to mind right away …
This is certainly the obvious choice and the go-to choice if everything were to line up properly. McGregor and Mayweather have already fought in Mayweather’s world and it only makes sense for them to fight in McGregor’s world if Mayweather signed with the UFC. This is the fight that would generate the most buys and the most revenue. It would also command the most worldwide attention. If Mayweather signs, first and foremost, this fight is the reason why. Period.
Johnson holds the record for most championship title defenses in the history of the UFC. Even with such a prestigious record, Johnson is not and has not historically been featured as a main event level guy within the company. Part of that is his personality and the other part is due to the weight class that he fights in. That said, Johnson is without a doubt one of the best mixed martial artists to ever step foot inside an octagon. On the flip side, Floyd Mayweather is currently and may forever be known as the best pound for pound boxer ever. The Best vs. The Best. Johnson vs. Mayweather. I can picture the posters now. Johnson seems to be into this idea as well.
Aldo may be the perfect opponent possible for Floyd Mayweather from a competition point of view. Like Mayweather, Aldo is an older fighter and could be someone that Mayweather may be able to handle standing up. At the same time, Aldo is and has been a go to name when the UFC needs a big fight. He’s proven to be a draw on many different occasions and could successfully help carry the marketing responsibilities that this fight would demand.
Max Holloway/Cody Garbrandt
Both Garbrandt and Holloway are on upward trajectories within the UFC and the MMA world. They are commodities within that world but have yet to break out into the mainstream areas like McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones, and Brock Lesnar have. A fight with Floyd Mayweather would put each of these guys on the map as household names within mainstream pop culture. Both could shine in that arena. The challenge for them is getting there and if you do business with Floyd Mayweather, you get there whether you are ready or not. Holloway is on a four year winning streak and while Cody Garbrandt lost his last fight and the bantamweight championship at UFC 217, he exudes a special “it” factor that would play well in a media crazed promotion that comes with Floyd Mayweather.
Look, Floyd Mayweather would certainly not win any of these fights. He’d be over matched in every scenario possible. Mayweather in the UFC is a long shot as it is and would be a circus frenzy for all involved. People hate the circus. Yet, everyone goes at some point to see the show. Same with Floyd Mayweather. I don’t want to watch him in the UFC, but I know I will if he signs. You’re lying to yourself if you claim otherwise.
NOW CHECK OUT HEYDORN’S PREVIOUS TAKE: HEYDORN’S TAKE: Staying in the boxing world diminishes Conor McGregor’s marketability as a worldwide star