It’s just a little over a month since UFC president Dana White told TMZ Sports that if Floyd Mayweather Jr. wanted to discuss the possibility of fighting Conor McGregor, he would have to be willing to consider a hybrid rules bout.
“Listen, Conor’s under contract with me,” White said. “We can start with kicks, punches, and elbows.”
“That’s right. Kicks, punches, and elbows. [Mayweather] doesn’t have to learn to do anything, but he’s going to get kicked and elbowed(via BloodyElbow, aptly enough).”
White knows that Mayweather isn’t likely to be interested in such a fight, so this was just another way for him to say, ‘Sorry folks, ain’t happening’.
However, according to one Chael Sonnen, things may have changed somewhat over the last few weeks.
During a UFC 205 post-fight chat with Jonathan Coachman on ESPN, Sonnen gushed about McGregor and his UFC lightweight title winning performance against Eddie Alvarez, saying that the Irishman should be considered “the greatest to ever do it”. When conversation moved on to what McGregor might do next, Sonnen said he had been hearing rumours that ‘The Notorious’ one is determined to make a boxing match with Mayweather.
What’s more, Sonnen added that these rumours suggest White is a little more open to the idea than he once was.
“He does have a contract the [UFC]. Ultimately, he will need Dana White to be on board with whatever he wants to do as long as he is under contract with the UFC,” Sonnen said. “Now, what Conor is telling people, and we are only as good as the information we are given, but Conor is telling people privately, he hasn’t gone public with it yet, but he is saying, ‘Look, with a win here tonight, should I beat Eddie, I’m going to take some time off and I’m going to do everything I can to get the boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.’ Allegedly.”
“Now, again, the only person that can sign off on this contractually is Dana White – to come in and co-promote. Allegedly, rumour, Dana White is a little bit more open to the idea – to at least hearing what it is that he wants to do, instead of having a closed door. So, leave the speculation at that. I think there is some legs to it myself.”
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Sonnen made these remarks before the UFC 205 post-fight press conference, at which McGregor announced that his longtime girlfriend Dee Devlin will be having the couple’s first child “early next year”.
“So, I’m just going to have this baby, take a little bit of time and see what way I feel after that,” added the SBG fighter.
The suggestion of a short break then, although for personal rather than professional reasons.
Of course, at present, rumours of a rematch between the supposedly retired Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are also rife. Mayweather caused a great deal of speculation when he showed up at ringside for Pacquiao’s win over Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas on November 5th and the Filipino fighter’s promoter, Bob Arum, subsequently told ESPN that there is a “75 percent” chance that a sequel to the pair’s May 2015 bout will happen, although he admitted that there had been no discussion between the camps on the topic as of yet.