“You know it takes three seconds to sleep a man from a strangle. An untrained neck – not used to it – it takes two seconds. So if I wrap around his neck and strangle him, he will be asleep in two seconds on the canvas in that ring” – Conor McGregor.
On Tuesday night the Staples Centre in Los Angelas played host to 20,000 people and millions across the globe for the first face-off between UFC champion Conor McGregor and Boxing’s all-time great Floyd Mayweather.
In what was the first stop of a four-city worldwide tour for their much-anticipated bout on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada there was certainly no lack of entertainment on show.
However, it was in the post-unveiling press conference at the media briefings in which Mayweather was met with the ongoing theory of ‘what if McGregor were to revert to the trade that has brought him here, in the heat of battle?’
Reporter Gareth A. Davies from The Telegraph posed the question to Mayweather if he was worried that McGregor may ‘revert to MMA’ if he found himself in trouble during their bout, to which the five-division world boxing champion responded:
“That’s the referee’s job. My job is to go out there and fight.”
What is perceived to be common knowledge is that McGregor would lose a substantial proportion of his earnings from the fight if this were to happen. A motion confirmed by the chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe.
However, it was in the media briefings on Tuesday night where McGregor finally addressed the notion. During a humorous exchange with Floyd Mayweather senior in which the Dubliner claimed, jokingly, he couldn’t tell father from son based on appearance, McGregor said:
“Don’t get your lawyers after me Senior, will ya? I thought this was a fight and now we’re getting into legal stuff and everything. We’re having a fight mate. Don’t get your lawyers after me, please!”
This statement was met with good spirit amongst those present in the room as laughing was heard everywhere. It was at this point where the demeanour of the UFC’s current lightweight champion changed and he outlined very simply what he is quite possible of doing if he is not met with the ‘respect’ he deserves from Money Mayweather Junior.
“Senior, Senior, tell him as long as he speaks my name with respect, I will abide by the boxing rules. I’ll abide by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, only if he speaks my name.
“If he disrespects me during this tour or during this business, then maybe I might bounce an elbow off his eyebrow. So that’s on him, how he does it.”
The response of Mayweather senior was certainly within character as he said if McGregor were to do that he would jump in the ring and knock him out. McGregor responded again by saying:
“Here’s the thing. Listen to this.
“By the time you climb up into the ring, from the steps, he’ll already be bust open from the eyebrow down. I’ll catch you stepping in through the ropes.
“If I catch him or strangle him in that fight…”
McGregor is then interrupted by the actions of Mayweather Senior to which he laughs and says ‘you’re a good man senior, you’re a good man.’
He continues to revisit his daunting threat:
“No, no, I’ll abide by the rules… As long as he’s nice, quiet and respectful, I’ll follow the rules. If he doesn’t, if his head drops down low I might just wrap it up in a strangle.
“You know it takes three seconds to sleep a man from a strangle. An untrained neck – not used to it – it takes two seconds. So if I wrap around his neck and strangle him, he will be asleep in two seconds on the canvas in that ring.”
McGregor certainly achieves his point in acknowledging he will be fighting in a much more restricted rule set than the one he is used to. However, he also knows the impending lawsuit if he were to act outside of this.
You can watch the full exchange between the two below: