It might be time to start considering the possibility of Conor McGregor actually making the move to boxing for a fight with Floyd Mayweather. What started out as a rumor with seemingly no basis in fact has continued to gain more attention and legitimacy.
Mayweather vs. McGregor would no doubt be a sideshow, but it’s a sideshow that fans would probably pay to see. If UFC is on board, the chances of the bout happening might not be as far-fetched as they once appeared.
"News I believe is gonna break here in about 2 weeks...I have already booked two rooms, September 17th and 18th in Las Vegas. My intel is Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather is going to happen,” Colin Cowherd said on Fox Sports 1 earlier this week. “It changed late last week. I got a call then somebody else sent me something [Sunday] and Saturday. We've booked rooms in Vegas. [It's happening] this September."
But not everyone is buying the hype.
Nate Diaz was supposed to face McGregor at UFC 200 until the Irish fighter was pulled off the card for refusing to be part of the promotional tour. Even with all the talk about McGregor boxing Mayweather, the UFC is still trying to make McGregor-Diaz II happen. They had their first fight at UFC 196 in March, and the pay-per-view might have been the most profitable in the company’s history as Diaz handed McGregor his first ever loss in UFC.
Diaz had a meeting with UFC president Dana White last week in which the potential terms of a fight against McGregor at UFC 202 in August were discussed. But a deal wasn’t reached, and Diaz is looking to earn a significantly bigger payday than what he was offered for his first fight against McGregor.
Diaz is convinced UFC is circulating rumors of a McGregor-Mayweather fight, hoping that he will cave and agree to fight for a lower price.
"I think the Mayweather thing is a publicity stunt," Diaz said on "The MMA Hour" on Wednesday. "It's great for both of them. Boxing followers will start following Conor, MMA followers are going to start following Floyd. They're all benefiting, and no one is losing, so they're going to keep the ball rolling.
"But every day I hear about this Mayweather s---, it's always about, 'Am I going to take the fight?' It seems like this is a pretty big deal, can I get compensated for it? ... I'm like, 'Hey, I call your bluff. Fight [Mayweather], I'll be right here.'"
McGregor remains the biggest draw in UFC and the featherweight champ. He defeated Jose Aldo for the belt in December, but he’s yet to defend his title, looking to get revenge against Diaz at 170 pounds.
Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are scheduled to meet in an interim UFC featherweight championship fight at UFC 200, with the winner getting a guaranteed shot at McGregor.