MMA Fantasy: What if Conor McGregor had beaten Floyd Mayweather?

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Revisiting the Conor McGregor (left) vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) bout [Image Courtesy: @ShowtimeBoxing via X/Twitter]

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. had one of the most successful crossover fights in history. McGregor, an MMA fighter and a former two-divison UFC champion, took on Mayweather, a boxing legend, in the latter's home turf. The result was prewritten in the minds of virtually every fan, expert, and fighter.

Besides noted ultra-fans of the Irishman like Brendan Schaub and a tiny section of McGregor loyalists from MMA, few gave him much of a chance. In fact, many questioned whether he would land a punch at all, given how Mayweather's defensive wizardry had confounded even the best that boxing had to offer.

Despite doing better than everyone had expected, McGregor still lost as everyone had predicted, fatiguing greatly before finding himself on the receiving end of a 10th round TKO. What, however, would have happened, had he succeeded?


Conor McGregor's hypothetical boxing run

Had Conor McGregor beaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their bout, it would have sent shockwaves through the boxing world. First, he would have handed Mayweather his first-ever loss, something that even seasoned legends in Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez had failed to accomplish.

This hypothetical McGregor win would have skyrocketed his already massive stardom, and inflated his confidence. Naturally, he would have almost definitely faced Mayweather in a rematch, whose quest for a 50-0 record would have been dashed by a man he considered an easy matchup.

Check out highlights of Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.:

While their initial clash generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, which fell just short of matching the all-time record of 4.4 million set by Mayweather-Pacquiao, a rematch would have likely surpassed it. McGregor would have commanded far more power at the negotiating table than before.

That he would have earned even more than his reported $100 million purse is astonishing, but there would have been no way around it. Had he beaten Mayweather again, he would have solidified himself as a boxer, become an undisputed legend of combat sports, and possibly chased after Pacquiao himself.

McGregor and Pacquiao have been linked to a matchup for some time, and the Irishman's then promise to capture a boxing world title would have only been magnified by his win. Around this time, Pacquiao held both the WBO and WBA (Regular) welterweight belts.

If McGregor managed to build on his success by beating him as well, he would have immortalized himself as the first male fighter to win both a UFC and boxing world title.


Conor McGregor's absence from the UFC

A natural consequence of Conor McGregor's boxing success would have been the likely death of his MMA career. The UFC already struggled to coax him back into the octagon due to the massive amount of wealth he accrued from his bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Had he won, he would have had far too many options. Moreover, McGregor had requested equity from the UFC not long before his boxing pursuits, having expressed an interest in becoming a minority owner in the promotion ahead of his rematch with Nate Diaz.

These demands would have only heightened in the event of boxing success. It is unlikely he would have returned to the UFC for a significantly lower purse than what boxing would have promised him. This means there would have been no legendary rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

He wouldn't have subsequent losses to Dustin Poirier, sparing his leg of trauma. Other UFC fighters, though, would have continued calling him out, especially with how much more lucrative fighting McGregor would be in this hypothetical timeline.

The UFC, on the other hand, would keep a tighter leash on its fighters and silenced all talk of boxing. Unfortunately, boxing would become an even more enticing option for fighters given McGregor's massive success. MMA fighters would have also gained more respect for their boxing skills overall.

Perhaps most significantly, influencer boxing may very well have not taken off in the way it has, as there would be far more interest in MMA fighters taking on boxers in the squared circle.

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Edited by Krishna Venki
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