Dana White Says Mayweather Can Only Fight Khabib in Octagon
By: Sean Crose
With talk of a Floyd Mayweather-Khabib Numragomedov fight making the rounds, UFC president Dana White has made it clear that he’s in no mood for a rehash of Mayweather’s 2017 novelty superfight with UFC star Conor McGregor. “Listen,” White told TMZ, “if Mayweather wants to fight, come fight. You fight in the UFC. We’re not boxing him. We did that once. That’s over.” Although McGregor looked decent enough for his much hyped fight with Mayweather, the longtime pound for pound great ended up making easy work of the MMA star.
Now that Khabib himself has bested McGregor – in McGregor’s home sport, no less, it’s obvious White isn’t going to withstand another of his top UFC fighters bucking the odds the way McGregor did when he temporarily switched sports over a year ago. “You want to fight,” White reiterated, “you come fight . A real fight.” White’s words echoed McGregor’s own sentiments about boxing in the leadup to the Mayweather match, when the Irishman referred to boxing as half a fight.
As TMZ states: “UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley has offered to personally train Floyd and said he truly believes the 41-year-old could have real success in the Octagon.” While that may be true, Mayweather has a reputation – fair or not – of stacking the odds in his favor before a major bout. What’s more, Mayweather, now in his fifth decade, has only boxed throughout his long, undefeated career. Perhaps even more telling, however, is the fact that – unlike McGregor – Khabib doesn’t employ a style similar to boxing in the MMA octagon. Within the cage, the Russian is regarded as a world class wrestler, possessing an impressive skill set which might not lend itself well to the boxing ring.
Although he suggested boxing doesn’t allow combatants to engage in “a real fight,” White himself is interested in getting into the boxing business. “Yeah, we’re getting into boxing 100%, for sure,” he told TMZ. “I’m not diving in head first; I’m dipping my toe in.” With that in mind, TMZ reports that “Floyd has said he’s 70% certain the two sides will get a deal done to box — he expects to make a 9-FIGURE CHECK if it comes to fruition.” Other fighters have been mentioned as potential Mayweather opponents, though – including McGregor (again) and Mayweather arch rival Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao, in particular, looks as if he might be particularly keen on a rematch of his record breaking 2015 fight with Mayweather.