Ahead of his much-anticipated MMA return against Donald Cerrone on Saturday at UFC 246, McGregor often has stated his desire to meet Mayweather in the boxing ring once more.
The pair faced off in one of the highest-grossing combat sports events of all time on Aug. 26, 2017, with Mayweather stopping the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion by 10th-round TKO. “The Notorious” believes some minor missteps kept him from victory that night, and he believes a rematch would end differently.
Mayweather’s longtime bodyguard and close friend, Ray Sadeghi, scoffs at that notion. He told MMA Junkie on Friday night that McGregor can speak whatever he wants, but if the two were to share the ring again, he can’t imagine a scenario in which McGregor gets his hand raised.
“Conor talks a lot, and one thing we do know is he talks a lot, and he doesn’t back it up,” Sadeghi said. “He can say, ‘Oh, he did this in the beginning and in the third round.’ One thing we know as a fighter is everyone starts off fresh and strong. As the rounds go on and on he’ll show the true colors of who is the better fighter and who is the more skilled fighter.
“One thing we do know: Conor, you can say what you want to say, but you got knocked out, and you got severe head trauma and a concussion that was reported by your doctor. Is the outcome going to be the same? I truly believe that no one can outbox Floyd. No one can outwork Floyd. His offense and his defense and his technique – this man is just made for this.
“His dad, his uncles have been in this for decades, and he’s been doing this since he was a little boy. You can try. If that fight happens and the negotiations go so you guys can put it together and the fight is going to happen, will I love to see that? Absolutely. Is the result going to be the same? I don’t know. It’s going to be a very exciting fight, and I’m sure Conor is going to come out stronger, but you cannot underestimate the best ever.”
In the more than two years since Mayweather and McGregor shared the ring, there’s been all sorts of armchair speculation about the way in which the contest unfolded. McGregor had some solid moments in the early rounds, but as the contest wore on, Mayweather opened up with his offense, picked up the pressure, and then ultimately found an avenue to finishing the fight.
Sadeghi said he’s had plenty of conversations with Mayweather about the matchup, and his belief is that “Money” essentially carried McGregor to an entertaining contest before turning on the switch and finding the stoppage.
“If Floyd were to go in there and just knock Conor out in the first or second round, people are going to say, ‘Oh, this fight was fixed. It’s bull(expletive), Conor is not a boxer,’” Sadeghi said. “Floyd is a very calculated man. Especially in this sport, you cannot mess with Floyd. That was planned to just let him have fun and let Conor think he is winning and have fun a little bit and then say, ‘Enough is enough, I’m going to knock you out.’ Which he did.”
Although Mayweather announced his retirement from boxing after beating McGregor, a return to combat appears to be on the horizon for the 42-year-old undefeated legend, whose record is 50-0. UFC president Dana White recently sat side by side with Mayweather at a Los Angeles Clippers-Boston Celtics game and said the pair came to a handshake deal to see them make a promotional collaboration for at least one more match.
Could that fight be a rematch with McGregor? Only time will tell. But Sadeghi said negotiations are ongoing, and then the world will find out what’s next.
“At the end of the day, you can say what you want to say, but I know (McGregor) wants to fight Floyd again, and who wouldn’t want to fight Floyd? I mean, (expletive),” Sadeghi said. “I hope this fight happens. Conor is an unbelievable fighter. He’s a stand-up guy, he’s a great fighter, and I wish him the best of luck, and I hope he does great because (UFC 246) is a very big fight for him.
“(Mayweather and White) had a great talk, and there will be some action for sure. Do I know who he is going to fight, or who is going to be the next opponent for Floyd Mayweather? That is not clear. That is going to be up to Floyd Mayweather and Dana White and their negotiating.”
To hear more from Sadeghi, watch the video above.