In 2017 we witnessed the beginning of an unlikely couple. So far the relationship between boxing and MMA has been entertaining to say the least. This month headlines made noise that could have massive implications for the future of both sports.
Since the cross over bout against Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather has been teasing about a possible move to MMA. In December, Mayweather claimed he was in the works for multi-fight contract with the UFC worth a billion dollars.
About two weeks ago he told TMZ he was serious about his wrestling. “On a scale from one to 10, I would say it’s probably a seven,” said Mayweather. “We can take it up to a nine, if possible. Of course my hand game, on a scale of one to 10, it’s 100.”
However last week things amped up when current UFC welterweight champ, Tyron Woodley broke some big new on his TMZ program The Hollywood Beatdown. “I think we’re gonna start most of it next week, so I think we’re gonna start some of the strategy talks next week and we might get some sessions in as well.” Floyd confirmed Woodley’s statements claiming they have been texting and plan to start training soon.
There are endless questions surrounding this story. First the credibility of Floyd. Is he trying to stay relevant, or is there any substance to his words? If he did transfer to MMA, would he really jump straight in there with McGregor, the current No. 2 on the pound-for-pound list, or would he be given an easy opponent first? With a legitimate training camp with Woodley, what can we expect from a world class athlete like Mayweather?
To the casual, or even hardcore fans for either sport, the thought of Mayweather fighting in the octagon still seems absurd. However there are some in the combat sports world that think there is a real possibility of seeing it happen. Former UFC superstar Chael Sonnen disagrees and sees this as a ploy to engage Conor in a boxing rematch.
This week on his podcast Beyond the Fight Sonnen said, “I will tell you unequivocally, right now, Floyd Mayweather does, and is planning, to box one more time.”
Perhaps Mayweather is doing what he does best and creating headlines to keep his name at the forefront of sports media, or perhaps there is something to take from this. Maybe we will get to witness the impossible. Until then we will all be watching this unfold very carefully.
Header photo by Esther Lin/MMA Fighting