Nevada commission head explains why UFC must be Mayweather vs. McGregor co-promoter

It was a surprise two weeks ago when one entry popped up on the Nevada Athletic Commission’s (NAC) meeting agenda: The UFC was requesting to be a co-promoter for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing event.

UFC president Dana White had long said Mayweather vs. McGregor would not be a UFC production and that his organization would not be an official promoter — just helping Mayweather Promotions and Showtime push the mega fight.

There’s a good reason why the UFC requested, and was then granted last week, co-promoter status for MayMac, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It had to be, NAC executive director Bob Bennett told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.

The UFC needed to be a promoter, Bennett said, in order to pay McGregor his share of what is likely to be a windfall of revenue. If Mayweather Promotions remained the sole promoter of the event, the main event would have broken NAC rules. If a promoter is also a fighter, in this case Mayweather, he or she cannot pay his or her opponent for the bout.

“Floyd can’t pay his opponent,” Bennett said. “The UFC is a co-promoter, because they’ll be paying Conor. … Otherwise it would have been a conflict of interest — an opponent paying the other opponent.”

The rule comes from NAC 467.112 of its official regulations, which stipulates “a bout agreement which provides that an unarmed combatant is to pay for the services of his or her opponent is prohibited.”

TGB Promotions, the lead promoter for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, also applied for and was granted co-promoter status for Mayweather vs. McGregor at the NAC meeting last week.

White was seen wearing a “Zuffa Boxing” t-shirt multiple times during the MayMac World Tour last month. But Mayweather vs. McGregor is being promoted by the plain old UFC. McGregor remains under UFC contract, even if this is a boxing match. Bennett said in Nevada licenses for promoters do no differentiate between MMA and boxing.

“They’re a promoter on record,” Bennett said of the UFC. “Our promoters license doesn’t state whether you have to be a boxing promoter or an MMA promoter.”

Source: mmafighting

Show Money 19: Are Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor about to show us the money?

The Show Money crew is back to spew their sometimes educated, sometimes random theories on the only show exclusively dedicated to the business of MMA. The Show Money crew is Paul the economist, Jason the lawyer, and John the man who knows everyone and everything in MMA. In today’s episode, the guys discuss the promotion of the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight and updated predictions on PPV buys (with a John Nash rant thrown in for good measure), the supposed 70/30 Mayweather/McGregor split and 70/30 McGregor/UFC split, thoughts on Zuffa Boxing, the Nevada Athletic Commission’s (NAC) behavior, and the future impact on the UFC and MMA.

For those interested in specific parts, here are the start times for each segment:Fight promotion and final PPV predictions – 0:26Supposed 70/30 splits – 18:28Zuffa Boxing – 21:55NAC’s sanctioning of the bout and approval of 8 oz. gloves – 27:36Impact of the fight on the UFC and MMA – 32:55

Subscribe to the MMA Nation YouTube channel for all sorts of video goodness and visit the YouTube link or SoundCloud if you have any trouble with the embedded video.

Follow Paul at @MMAanalytics, John at @heynottheface, and Jason at @dilletaunt.
Source: bloody

Nevada Athletic Commission: Approval of Mayweather vs. McGregor was not about money

Nevada Athletic Commission director Bob Bennett affirms that their decision to sanction the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight was not about a cash grab. It cannot be denied that all parties involved with the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight on August 26th will be taking home a massive payday. Floyd Jr. alone is expecting to earn $300 million for the possible 36 minutes of action.
But according to Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett, the revenue that will be raked in was not at all a factor in the decision-making process of approving the sanctioning of the fight.
“I take a look at each fighter’s record,” Bennett said on Monday’s MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “I have a standard operating procedure that I use and when it comes to finances, I don’t even want to hear about it. The money does not enter into my position as an executive director.”
“When it comes to the finances, I cut the people off right away, respectfully, because it does not enter into the equation on whether or not I approve a fight.”
Bennett says he actually consulted notable names in boxing, such as trainer Virgil Hunter, before giving the green light on the fight. But he was already convinced enough with McGregor’s MMA record alone.
“Conor is the younger, stronger, the longer, more powerful puncher. As you know in the UFC, he fought featherweight, lightweight, welterweight. His record is 21-3 in MMA —17 of those wins have come by way of KO or TKO. So he’s a premier striker, knockout artist,” Bennett said.
“He’s a young, aggressive warrior who believes he’s gonna win. And that attitude unto itself makes it very dangerous.”
“I’m known as an executive director to be very conservative in approving fights, whether they MMA or boxing,” he continued. “I have a format that I go by that I had to deviate a little from. Because this is unprecedented. It is historic. Both these guys are phenomenal athletes. I took a real close look at Conor, because everybody knows Floyd. He’s 49-0, arguably the best defense in the history of boxing. Future Hall-of-Famer. Conor is a young warrior coming up.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor happens on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Source: bloody

Conor McGregor to walk out with with 4 belts for Floyd Mayweather fight?

Conor McGregor has requested his UFC and Cage Warriors belts be flown out to Las Vegas. Conor Mcgregor might have been stripped of the UFC featherweight title last year, but the Irishman still considers himself the rightful champion.
McGregor, who dusted Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to claim featherweight gold at UFC 194, added the lightweight strap to his collection the following year, knocking out Eddie Alvarez to become the promotion’s first ever simultaneous two-division champ.
‘The Notorious’ pulled off the same feat in UK-based MMA promotion Cage Warriors in 2012, winning the featherweight and lightweight titles in back-to-back fights.
According to McGregor’s father, Tony McGregor, the SBG Ireland product has requested that all his MMA belts be flown out to Las Vegas for the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match on Aug. 26.

Received an official communique from the McGregor camp,deep in the Nevada desert,the Champ champ has requested his belts be flown to him in USA……..Roger that affirmative. A post shared by Tony Mcgregor (@mcgregortony) on Aug 20, 2017 at 11:33am PDT

“Received an official communique from the McGregor camp, deep in the Nevada desert, the Champ champ has requested his belts be flown to him in USA……..Roger that affirmative,” Tony posted on Instagram.
McGregor is the fastest rising star in combat sports and will take on pound-for-pound boxing great Mayweather in what’s being billed the ‘biggest fight in history’.
The boxing extravaganza takes place Saturday, August 26, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Source: bloody

Dan Hardy: Floyd Mayweather crossing over to MMA will not sell

Floyd Mayweather has mentioned crossing over into MMA, but Dan Hardy believes it will not garner the same attention as Conor McGregor going into boxing. During the press tours for his August 26th fight against Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather Jr. spoke about crossing over into mixed martial arts. And like how many are currently dismissing McGregor’s chances, observers have also concluded the same if Floyd Jr. does decide to make his own transition.
Despite the odds stacked against McGregor, many are still expected to tune in and spend some money on the upcoming fight. However, the same level of attention is not expected to be given if the tables were turned, at least according to former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy.
“We don’t need to see Floyd step into the octagon and get James Toney-ed, to know that’s exactly what would happen,” Hardy told MMA Junkie. “It’s a foregone conclusion and not even up for question. The only reason people would tune into that is for the satisfaction of seeing Floyd getting his little head squeezed off.”
“There is a question of what would happen if we take an MMA fighter and put him in with one of the best boxers of all time. That’s the argument in and of itself, because millions of people will buy pay-per-views to see that question be asked and answered. That wouldn’t happen if Floyd Mayweather crossed over into MMA.”
Former world champion Andre Berto believes a win for McGregor would be a blow to the entire boxing world. But for Hardy, it is more about how the sport is no longer considered as the premiere form of fighting.
“You’ve got to think that, up until the emergence of mixed martial arts, boxers were fighters,” Hardy explained. “If you were a boxer, you were considered a fighter, but now you’re not. If you’re a boxer, you’re a boxer, but if you’re an MMA practitioner, you are a fighter.”
“That’s a strong difference there, because a lot of people get into boxing for the tough guy aspect, which is kind of diminished now when there’s someone who can kick you in the leg, take you down and strangle you.”
“It immediately makes them realize how single-minded they’ve been in their approach,” Hardy added. “Not that that’s a problem, because if you choose to be a boxing specialist, I have no issue with that. But don’t claim to be a fighter when you’re only using your fists, because you’re lying to yourself and everybody else.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor is scheduled for 12 rounds on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Source: bloody

John Kavanagh reveals first message Conor McGregor told him about Floyd Mayweather fight

Throughout Conor McGregor’s rise through the UFC, the Irishman always seemed to take a particular glee at chirping across the fence at Floyd Mayweather — and in turn, the undefeated boxer was never far off with his own retort.

Of course, few could’ve predicted that those insults would actually manifest themselves into the spectacle that will take place Aug. 26, when McGregor and Mayweather meet in a 12-round boxing match that will likely go down as one of the most lucrative fights in history. It’s not the first time McGregor has turned a seemingly impossible scenario into a reality, but while the boxing world ridicules the UFC lightweight champion for everything from his training methods to his technique in the lead-up to the fight, the confidence emanating from Team McGregor has remained as undaunted as ever.

And as longtime SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh explained Monday, that confidence as been the same from the very first text message McGregor sent him revealing that the fight was official.

“He just said, ‘The man has made a grave error. This is going to be Bruce Lee sh*t. This is water becoming the cup,’” Kavanagh said Monday on The MMA Hour. “First of all, I read that and I went, oh, the Mayweather fight is actually on. I didn’t quite believe it until then, so that blew me away, and my brain starts racing, ‘okay, I’ve got to put certain wheels into motion.’

“But I don’t think it was until a couple of weeks later, or maybe days later, that I kinda read again and I realized what he was saying about the Bruce Lee water quote — that the ruleset might change and the strategy will change, but the fundamentals remain the same. This is something my own coach has told me a long, long time ago — Matt Thornton — that if you take an MMA fighter and you put him in a kickboxing match or a wrestling match, or a self-defense situation, the rules of engagement certainly change and that will affect your strategy, but the fundamentals of timing, of distance, of range, of how to hit hard, different striking techniques, they will remain the same.”

McGregor’s message harkened back to Lee’s famous quote about being “formless, shapeless,” able to adapt to any situation. And that is what Kavanagh believes people who are quick to dismiss McGregor’s chances are missing — that McGregor may be inexperienced in a classic boxing sense, however his adaptive skillset and experience across combat styles is different than anything Mayweather has come across before, and his fundamentals can still be applied effectively inside a boxing ring.

“I often say this to people,” Kavanagh explained, “that if you look at various martial arts, there’s a lot of different martial arts, but take a Kung Fu master and a Wing Chun master and you put the two of them in a pair of speedos, make them have an MMA fight in a cage — it looks like two guys who don’t really know how to fight fighting. And the point being, that in a lot of those circumstances, you just don’t have the delivery systems, the fundamentals of fighting ingrained in them.

“Conor has nothing else ingrained in him. That’s all he’s been interested in for the greater part of his life. … Someone told me before, the art of striking is putting yourself in a position where you can hit but can’t be hit, and that’s all [McGregor is] interested in. That’s the only thing that motivates him day to day. I’ve actually been on the end of a few [sparring sessions] for this training camp, so it’s fascinating to see him do it, and it’s what’s going to happen. Okay, the rules are the Queensbury rules of boxing, but we’re going in to do something a little bit different than what failed (against Mayweather) 49 times.”

Kavanagh echoed McGregor’s confidence on Monday, predicting either a first- or sixth-round stoppage for the Irishman, depending on how Mayweather approaches the fight.

And despite the glee seemingly flowing out of Team Mayweather, Kavanagh believes the boxing world is in for a seismic shock when McGregor validates the original message he sent his longtime coach back in the summer.

“There was just something so definite about it,” Kavanagh said. “And then his take on the fight, that he wasn’t going to go in as a boxer, he was going to go in as a martial artist if you want to say, as a fighter, as a mixed martial artist, and be able to do sequences and techniques and attacks that are fully within the rules … there’s nothing within the rules to say we can’t do the things we have in mind, so we’re just going to go in and enjoy it as well.

“We’re going to have fun with this. This is sport, it’s a great event, it’s going to be one of the most-watched events of all-time maybe, everybody has an opinion on it, and I’m very honored to be playing a part in it.”

Source: mmafighting

Despite Ali vs. Inoki comparisons, there’s no true precedent for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

Mixed matches with boxers against wrestlers or MMA fighters have happened numerous occasions, and in almost every case, the rules basically predetermined the outcome

The fact that Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather are even fighting, let alone that this will likely end up being either the first or second biggest grossing event in the history of combat sports, is a testament to the change in the economics and in the media.

Fights similar to this have been talked about since the beginning of time, but they were almost never made, because in the past it never made any financial sense to happen.

And the one fight people talk about when it comes to a historical comparison, the June 25, 1976 fight between Muhammad Ali and Japanese pro wrestler Antonio Inoki, underscores just how different things are today.

The circumstances are a perfect storm of things all coming into play. MMA has never had a major star who could be in a promotion of this level, nor did any other combat sport other than just a handful in boxing. And the economics were so different. Even adjusted for inflation, pay-per-view technology changed the times, so the big drawing boxers of the past, from Jack Dempsey to Ali, were never put in a position where they had an opponent quite like McGregor to pull this off.

A key reason this fight is happening is the success of the 2015 Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, which grossed more than $600 million. It set a standard for one-day revenue for a fight that changed expectations about what was possible.

So, for the first time ever, the biggest drawing card in boxing faces the biggest drawing card in MMA. The key is in fight promotion, when something works, it is copied until it stops working. If the event is viewed as a success from a financial perspective (which it will be) and it doesn’t leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, this type of cross-sport fight will almost surely happen again.

And what makes it so unique is that in the one instance historically where something close to this could have happened, the discussions were always of a mixed rules fight. A straight boxing match essentially means that McGregor and the sport of MMA are, at least on paper, doing a one-night sacrifice of themselves to the public for a giant payoff. Of course, everything both sides have done in the promotion is designed to make the public feel that isn’t the case.

This is all about money. McGregor can make $10 million or $15 million for a fight in UFC when he’s matched with the right opponent. But it is inconceivable he can make $100 million. A key aspect to this story is that the biggest MMA drawing card in the sport can earn exponentially more money doing a boxing match than he can a fight in his own sport. In theory, that’s not a good thing for the sport of MMA, but when it comes to business, the short-term gain is probably substantially more than any long-term damage.

Just as important when it comes to the future is that Mayweather, if the fight does the kind of numbers people are throwing around, will earn far more money fighting a non-boxer in a boxing match, than a top boxer, and with far less risk as far as losing goes.

The difference from 10 years ago, when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya in the first fight to ever top 2 million buys on pay-per-view, are astounding. De La Hoya was a gigantic name, and what people forget about that fight is that going in most expected the fight to do about 1.5 million buys, because that was believed to be the ceiling for a non-heavyweight fight.

Blowing that number away and doing 2.45 million buys was due to the success of the weekly 24/7 style countdown shows that have now become a staple in big fights. That fight established two things. The first is that the mentality that it had to be heavyweights to draw the real record numbers was an antiquated viewpoint. De La Hoya had established himself as combat sports’ biggest star and others, like Ray Leonard before him, were on top. But the mentality was that neither would ever be able to do “Tyson numbers.”

Even in the UFC, it was the bigger guys who were the top draws. The featherweight division that McGregor came up in didn’t even exist in UFC until years later.

Promoters and fighters will likely acknowledge that there is only one Mayweather and one McGregor, but if there is an MMA champion who is a striker, and UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has already thrown out the challenge to Anthony Joshua, the idea that they could earn far more money for losing a freak show fight than they could for a championship defense is going to have a similar lure.

They won’t make nearly the money this fight will, but the key is will it, using the boxing formula of paying main eventers, enable the UFC fighter the opportunity to make more than for a UFC title defense? UFC would want to block a steady stream of its champions losing to boxers. But after this event, unless the fight itself is a flop, the mentality will be to copy what made it work.

Kickboxing was never big enough in the U.S., the prime market for giant money events, to have a fighter who could draw like McGregor against a boxer. Amateur wrestling stars never had the notoriety. Some pro wrestling stars had the notoriety, although at no point in history could any fight generate the kind of interest this one will, because of the change in media and the promotional skills of McGregor.

Over the years there were many wrestler vs. boxer matches, some under mixed rules, and a few under boxing rules. None ever garnered a smidgen of interest this already has.

In the early 1920s, there were negotiations to pit Ed “Strangler” Lewis, one of the two biggest pro wrestling stars of that era, against Jack Dempsey, “The Manassa Mauler,” the heavyweight boxing champion. At that time, there was no bigger sports star than the heavyweight boxing champion, and while wrestling was already predetermined, it received extensive newspaper coverage and The Strangler vs. The Mauler looked like a huge promotion.

In the end, the fight never happened since Lewis wouldn’t dare do a boxing match with Dempsey, and Dempsey, even though he said otherwise, knew well enough that in a mixed rules match, he’d stand little chance. The interest at the time was for a mixed rules match, and economically, it was dangerous to Dempsey and boxing. There wasn’t enough of a money difference between what Dempsey could make boxing to have it make any sense for him.

Over the years, there were numerous boxer vs. wrestler matches, although most were in pro wrestling, and the outcomes were predetermined, as numerous boxing champions from Joe Louis to “Jersey” Joe Walcott to Leon Spinks took to pro wrestling after their boxing careers were over. Joe Frazier even did a match in Puerto Rico. In recent years, long after anyone took it seriously and it was clearly all in fun, people like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Ricky Hatton messed around on WWE shows.

In the few legitimate fights, the results were almost predetermined, in the sense the rules made the outcome obvious. Frank Gotch was in many ways the first celebrity pro wrestler, who, as world champion, was viewed as legitimate in his day. He used a pseudonym, Frank Kennedy, and lost a boxing match to Frank Slavin in 1901 in The Yukon Territory. There was also the brutal 1940 bout where an aging Dempsey destroyed Cowboy Luttrell under boxing rules.

In a 1935 bout, wrestling star Ray Steele battled boxer Kingfish Levinsky in St. Louis, under mixed rules, and it only lasted 35 seconds with Steele winning. While it took longer, in a 1963 mixed match, wrestler/judoka Gene LeBell defeated boxer Milo Savage. Pro wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, who later had an MMA career that included wins over Kazushi Sakuraba, Pat Miletich, Renzo Gracie and Maurice Smith and a draw with Frank Shamrock when Shamrock was UFC champion, finished past-his-prime boxing champion Matthew Saad Muhammad in 34 seconds in 1992.

Once MMA got established, a past-his-prime Ray Mercer lost to Kimbo Slice but later knocked out former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in nine seconds. That’s really the only high-profile case where a boxing champion defeated an MMA champion under MMA rules.

Pride heavyweight Kazuyuki Fujita choked out former cruiserweight champion boxer Imamu Mayfield in 2003 with rules that limited ground work to 20 seconds, when he was able to lock in a choke while standing. And the current era UFC once pushed a boxer vs. MMA fighter theme when James Toney submitted in the first round to Randy Couture. On the first UFC show in 1993, Royce Gracie quickly took down boxer Art Jimmerson, who then immediately wanted out.

From an intrigue and fair standpoint, a mixed rules match, perhaps kickboxing rules, may have had even more intrigue for Saturday in Las Vegas. But most concede that unless Mayweather connected early and McGregor couldn’t recover, that if kicking was added to the rules, it would be Mayweather who would have almost no chance.

None of these historic instances truly parallel Mayweather vs. McGregor. In the past, such a fight could never happen because the top star in one venue would never risk both his own reputation and that of their sport in a situation where they have little chance to win. And to be fair, none of the non-boxers involved were anywhere near the level of striker that McGregor is, nor the level of talker, and in this case, the latter is more important in this happening than the former.

The closest example from a name value and marketing standpoint of a fight that actually did happen was Ali vs. Inoki. When it happened, the fight was widely considered a joke and got far less media publicity than one would think, given Ali was a far bigger cultural star in 1976 than either Mayweather or McGregor are today.

Why that fight did happen is that Ali was offered more money for what was supposed to be a pro-wrestling match, where he would lose to Inoki, than he had ever earned for a boxing match. But in the week before the fight, Ali suddenly decided that he didn’t want to lose. At that time, nobody knew whether the fight would or wouldn’t be real. It was promoted as being real. It was held in Japan, where there were no regulations, away from the regulatory bodies in the U.S. The media didn’t know, but at the time, most were skeptical of the legitimacy of it, and unlike with McGregor, almost nobody in the media or the U.S. knew who Inoki was.

The Japanese backers of Inoki were looking at Ali losing to Inoki, with the idea such a win would make Inoki, already a big star in their culture, into a national hero like no athlete in their country could have been.

They were not paying Ali $6 million to beat their guy in a sports contest; it was all about paying to make a Japanese idol.

However, when Ali said he wouldn’t lose, they were too far into the promotion to back out, particularly when, if the fight didn’t happen, it would surely get out that the fight was fixed for Ali to lose and he refused. That would have destroyed Inoki in Japan at that time.

Instead of calling the fight off, which it was very much in danger of in the days before it happened, they agreed to do a real fight. It’s funny, because today, in Japan, this fight is generally considered the birth of MMA, but it was never intended to be anything but a pro-wrestling match, like Inoki had during that era with other boxers and stars from karate and judo.

Ali had all the bargaining power at the last minute. So he was able to get rules greatly in his favor. Even with Inoki banned from using submissions, kicks above the waists, Greco-Roman throws and other wrestling techniques, the lopsided rules were still not pure boxing. The fight ended up as a boring 15-round draw which saw mostly Inoki lay on his back and blister Ali with leg kicks.

At the time, the public viewed Inoki as a coward who wouldn’t stand up and fight. Today, with judges who understood low kicks, Inoki would have won at least 12 of the 15 rounds. Keep in mind this was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers who ever lived against a pro wrestler. Inoki trained in submissions and was Japan’s biggest star, but behind the scenes was never considered a legitimate top-tier shooter like a Billy Robinson was in the era.

Ali was also nearly involved in another freak show fight in 1971 with Wilt Chamberlain, who was the biggest name in the NBA at the time. The idea behind it was that the public would be intrigued by the size difference. Chamberlain was 7-foot-1 and 290 pounds. But after a press conference that got national attention, and numerous publicity photos, the fight fell apart. Because Chamberlain in the culture was so well known, that fight may have done well business-wise, but we’ll never know.

Ali was a far bigger star than either Mayweather or McGregor is today, but the economics were completely different.

Still, when Ali vs. Inoki was put together, the thought process was the fight would do big business on closed-circuit at arenas around the U.S. and Canada, because you would get both the fan bases of pro wrestling and of boxing. That’s similar to the mentality of McGregor vs. Mayweather bringing together the fan bases of MMA and boxing. In reality, the success of this show, like with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, is more about people who aren’t fans of either sport, capturing the type of person who isn’t a sports fan, but still watches the Super Bowl every year.

Ali vs. Inoki was a financial bomb in North America. Outside of the Northeast, where the real draw was a pro-wrestling match with Bruno Sammartino against Stan Hansen at Shea Stadium, and in Japan, where it did a record gate and is still one of the highest rated television shows in the history of TV-Asahi, the fight bombed.

As big as Ali was, the public didn’t buy the concept. Inoki wasn’t well-known in the U.S. Ali ended up getting less than $2 million when all was said and done.

When Mayweather fought Pacquiao, after years of teases, the predictions were it would be 3 million buys on pay-per-view, but general public interest at the last minute blew that figure out of the water. In doing 4.6 million buys, it did a figure that few even felt was possible.

It also led to the expectations of this fight, where people are talking 5 million buys and revenue figures to where the fight could generate more money in one night than the entire UFC did in its record-setting 2016.

What is different today is the mentality of the fans and the changes in the media.

As big a star as Ali was, the event got some coverage, but not a lot. Most sportswriters, sportscasters and sports editors were skeptical the fight would be real, and with good reason. They didn’t want to give it credibility in the event that it wasn’t. And even if it was, the important thing in the sports world wasn’t Ali, but Ali’s heavyweight championship, which wasn’t at stake.

Championships in those days were bigger than the stars. Today, that’s no longer the case. The coverage it did receive was more like it was a novelty, and almost all tongue-in-cheek. The public was told it wasn’t important, and for the most part, they believed it and didn’t buy it.

Today, the media has changed. It’s all about personalities, not competition or championships. If the personalities can draw ratings or get hits, they’ll get constant coverage. Every tweet by McGregor and Mayweather becomes a news story. The biggest differences are not just how much more money can be made via pay-per-view than the old closed-circuit, and how much more money people are willing to pay for sports events today, but that in 1976 the media led the public to what was important. Today, the public leads the media.

No matter what people in sports think of the idea of a mismatch or sports value of a fight that many experts would say is all but predetermined based on the rules in place, there will be round-the-clock coverage in the days leading into the fight. McGregor, Mayweather, Dana White and all parties involved will be telling you this is the biggest fight in history. It’s a must-see event. And like has been the case the past few weeks, they’ll be trying to sell you on the idea that McGregor has a chance to win.

The idea that no championship is at stake in this fight is completely immaterial.

In the past, Zuffa did everything in its power to keep its top stars, notably Nick Diaz when he wanted to box Jeff Lacy, from going into boxing, with the idea losing in another sport and looking bad would damage their marketability.

But in this instance, unlike any other time in history, the money is so big that the UFC and McGregor are willing to sacrifice their aura to the general public because the economic windfall of the night is too great to pass up.

Source: mmafighting

Morning Report: Hall of Fame boxing referee who trained Conor McGregor says fouling won’t be an issue against Mayweather

Last week, disgruntled former training partner Paulie Malignaggi warned that Conor McGregor was a dirty fighter who might get disqualified against Floyd Mayweather, Jr if he continued to use the roughhouse tactics he employed in sparring. But now, the man who oversaw those sparring sessions is refuting that claim.

Hall of Fame boxing referee Joe Cortez, who was hired by the McGregor camp to oversee all of his sparring session and train McGregor in the intricacies of the boxing ruleset, recently spoke with The Mac Life, saying that McGregor is an excellent student of the game and that he was “pleasantly surprised” with how quick McGregor learned.

“Working with Conor was a great experience because here, I’m breaking in a fighter who’s an MMA fighter and I have to teach him the rules of boxing. I was pleasantly surprised to see what a great student he is. He pays close attention to everything I tell him, everything in detail, because I want him to do everything correct for the fight Saturday night.

“So far, every session that we’ve had has been getting better and better and better. So I’m very pleased with his performance.”

Cortez was a widely respected referee who worked over 170 world title bouts during his career. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011 and retired shortly thereafter. In fact, Cortez was the man in the middle for one of Mayweather’s most controversial fights, his knockout victory over Victor Ortiz, the last knockout of Mayweather’s career. That big fight pedigree is why Cortez was brought in, and he says that despite Malignaggi’s claims, he doesn’t expect any shifty business on Saturday night.

“[Conor] knows the kind of referee that I’ve been throughout the years. I’ve refereed close to 200 world championship fights, so I think he pays a lot more attention and I speak to him with a lot more details in what can go wrong if he doesn’t comply by the rules. So I think he’s very pleased, just as I am. Like I said, every session he gets better, he wants to learn more, he keeps asking me questions, and I tell him exactly what’s gotta be done.

“I think everything is gonna be just fine come Saturday night.”

Aside from refereeing, Cortez was also a Golden Gloves champion and currently works as a boxing analyst for ESPN. A man with as much knowledge of boxing as Cortez has and the first hand experience of presiding over every one of McGregor’s sparring sessions, there might be no one better to ask the question everyone wants answered: can McGregor actually pull this off? And though he didn’t make a prediction, Cortez believes that there’s definitely a chance.

“The boxing community has taken a lot of interest in this fight because they’ve never seen anything like that. Conor has been showing that he has the confidence in himself, he definitely has the skills as far as MMA is concerned, he has the strength, he can punch. . . The boxing fans will say, Mayweather should win, but you know what I say? Anyone who has a punch, has a puncher’s chance.”

Conor McGregor boxes Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on Saturday, August 26, in Las Vegas, Nevada.


MUST-READ STORIES

Farewell. Brian Stann announces he moving on from commentary and the UFC.

Apologies. Cody Garbrandt clears up controversial statements about Aljamain Sterling.

Predictions. John Kavanagh gives two predictions about Mayweather vs. McGregor.

Artemij Sitenkov. The first man to beat McGregor is auctioning off his fight shorts.

Suuure. NAC’s Bob Bennett says money had nothing to do with approving MayMac.


VIDEO STEW

Yesterday’s MMA Hour was a good one.

And here’s Kavanagh from that with his extreme confidence.

Showtime put up all the All-Accesses yesterday so here they are.

Only a few more days of Skip Bayless talking about fights.

Embedded, Ep. 1.


LISTEN UP

Show the Art. Mayweather-McGregor analysis plus Danis-Tonon breakdown.

The Co-Main Event. MayMac discussion as well as JDS vs. USADA and Masvidal-Wonderboy.

Severe MMA. Mayweather vs. McGregor discussion.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

The big announcement.

Well wishes.

Conor getting those endorsement deals.

Do you get your toothpaste delivered? @hismileteeth #hismile #teethwhitening #toothpaste #ad

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Aug 21, 2017 at 1:10pm PDT

Cigano says he’s still training for Ngannou and hopes USADA corrects this.

Conor bringing those Cage Warrior belts to the ring with him it seems.

Can one still be considered a cub if they have children?

Chandler says Primus is refusing to fight him.

The beef continues.

Could be good news.

The last time Floyd fought a guy way bigger and stronger than him.

Brunson unhappy with his new fight poster.

A post shared by Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) on Aug 21, 2017 at 4:59pm PDT

USADA.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Lyoto Machida (22-7) vs. Derek Brunson (17-5); UFC Fight Night 119, Oct. 28.

Deiveson Figueiredo (12-0) vs. Jarred Brooks (13-0); UFC Fight Night 119, Oct. 28.

Court McGee (18-6) vs. Sean Strickland (18-2); UFC Fight Night 120, Nov. 11.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2010: Jorge Santiago stopped Kazuo Misaki to retain his World Victory Road middleweight title.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Shame to see Brian Stann leave. He was the best in the business and it wasn’t particularly close. Hope he is happy in all his future endeavors and with his family. His gain is most definitely our loss.

4 days. Hang in there.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

Source: mmafighting

Conor McGregor: Mayweather ‘would need to reincarnate Bruce Lee’ to prepare for me

Conor McGregor says it is impossible for any of his opponents to prepare to fight him. Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be unbeaten and considered to be the best boxer in the game today, but it goes without saying that Conor McGregor is one of his more unique opponents in many aspects. In terms of fighting technique, The Money Team says they have covered all bases and will be expecting the “awkward style” that McGregor will be bringing to the table on fight night.
But according to McGregor, no amount of preparation will suffice for what he can actually dish out.
“What other mixed martial artist is there like me?” McGregor told The Mac Life (via MMA Fighting). “He’d need to reincarnate Bruce Lee and that would be the only person that could mimic me, what way I’m coming at him. I’m not like any other mixed martial artist. I’m not like any other boxer. I am in a league of my own and I will prove that on August 26.”
Another criticism thrown towards McGregor’s way is his zero experience in boxing, which for the great majority, would lead him to be badly beaten and even knocked out by Mayweather. But for the ever-confident Irishman, his fighting career as a whole is testament to how he handles super-fight situations such as this one.
“I’ve been in this life a long time. I’ve had these mega, mega-fights. I’m under this spotlight a long time, a lot longer than all his other previous opponents,” McGregor said. “So that’s where he’s probably feeling that that will come to his aid in there but I’ve experienced this time and time again. Couple that with true fights in the ring.”
“There’s been no spars here. That referee is fully kitted out and its point deductions and it’s a full on fight so I’m ready.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor happens this Saturday, August 26th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Source: bloody

Matt Hughes back on the mats doing jiu-jitsu just two months after bad vehicle crash

A country boy can survive, indeed.

UFC legend Matt Hughes was on the mats appearing to be able to train a bit of Brazilian jiu-jitsu just two months after being seriously injured in a truck-train crash in Illinois. Hughes’ friend Tony Zucca posted the incredible video on his Instagram page Monday night.

“I leave for only five days and come back to his ass wanting (and able) to roll!” Yucca wrote. “Unbelievable!”

Hughes, 43, was driving a truck over train tracks in Raymond, Ill., on June 16, when the incoming train struck the truck on the passenger side. Hughes, the UFC Hall of Famer, was airlifted to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill., where he has been treated since.

Despite having no broken bones or internal injuries, the former UFC welterweight champion was only “minimally responsive” a few days after the collision. Hughes’ family announced it would be working with a traumatic brain injury foundation in the weeks after the crash.

It now appears that Hughes is doing much better. Zucca posted a photo of he and Hughes out to get sushi last week and it seems the longtime fighter has progressed even more since then.

“So awesome to see that smile and hear that laugh again,” Zucca said. “If I posted a video from day one and compared it to today…and you still didn’t believe in miracles…well, there’s nothing that’s ever going to change your mind.”

Source: mmafighting