Call it anti-climactic, or even take the Oscar De La Hoya approach and call it a big fraud, but the boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather was at least entertaining even if we already knew what the outcome was going to be. That outcome was a 10th-round TKO win for Floyd “Money” Mayweather who will now sit back in retirement at 50-0, count his money, and avoid phone calls from anyone named “IRS.”
Meanwhile, McGregor will also be sitting back on his pile of cash while on medical suspension and planning his next move. Will he return to boxing? Or will he go back to his sport of MMA and defend his UFC lightweight title?
What McGregor was able to pull off against Mayweather is quite remarkable. Here’s a guy who had no real professional boxing experience and he was able to hang with one of the greatest boxers of our era. He may have taken a loss, but he also won in so many other ways and will clearly cash in no matter what he does.
If he does choose to continue on with his career in the octagon, you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll get paid well for his fist-a-cuff services. The recent Jon Jones fiasco actually gives McGregor more leverage than he already had because now he is the “true face that runs the place.” There just isn’t any other bona fide star in the sport right now. Obviously, he won’t get the $100-million payday he received for his boxing match but it won’t be $3 million per fight in the UFC anymore either.
Whatever dollar amount they agree upon the UFC will have to make sure that McGregor’s fights are commercially viable. At the moment, the fight that makes the most sense is McGregor vs. Diaz 3. Both men have a win over the other and, if you want to give Conor a big payday, that matchup would not only sell a ton of pay-per-views but would also fill an 80,000-seat stadium like Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland. It’s yet unclear if logistics will allow for that large-stadium event overseas, but whether it’s in Vegas or Ireland, a trilogy fight with Diaz would do big business.
Outside of that obvious MMA matchup, there are other options for Conor, like having another go at the sport of boxing against his erstwhile sparring partner and former WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. Paulie and Conor had a few run ins leading up to the Mayweather fight, creating some bad blood between the two, but is it enough to garner fan interest? It’s not like Malignaggi was ever a pay-per-view draw.
Whatever lucrative choice is made, McGregor has taken his brand to whole new level and the future is his. So we look at the possible options and give the odds on what’s next.
No, it won’t be a swimming competition against Michael Phelps.
McGregor vs. Diaz 3 (UFC): 1/1
McGregor vs. winner of Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee (UFC): 4/1
McGregor vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Boxing): 17/3
McGregor vs. Tyron Woodley (UFC Welterweight Champion): 9/1
McGregor vs. Georges St-Pierre (UFC): 50/1
McGregor vs. Oscar De La Hoya (Boxing): 100/1
McGregor vs. winner of Canelo vs. Golovkin (Boxing): 100/1
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