Former UFC champion Conor McGregor still believes he'd beat undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch.
McGregor, who returned to UFC this past October only to be submitted by undefeated lightweight sensation Khabib Nurmagomedov, came up short against "Money" when the two locked horns back in 2017 in a true crossover fight.
Sure, McGregor had his moments in what was labeled a cash grab for both Team Mac and Team Mayweather, but Floyd ultimately had his way with the Irishman en route to a 10th-round TKO stoppage. It was an expected finish given the fact that McGregor was making his professional boxing debut against one of the best ever.
With time to reflect on his loss to Mayweather, McGregor still believes he'd do better in a rematch. In fact, the former UFC champ thought he was winning the fight before Mayweather switched up styles after the first few rounds.
“I would love another go in the boxing arena,” said McGregor in a recent interview with Tony Robbins (transcription via MMA Weekly). “Floyd is known for his Philly-shell defensive style of fighting. He has his right arm tucked in, or he’s orthodox so it’s the opposite, but he has one arm tucked in by his belly and one arm kept up by his ear. He uses his shoulder to deflect shots. He’s a back footed fighter, he fights on the back foot.
“That’s what I prepared for because that is all I had seen of him. My sparring partners were fighters on the back foot, fighting defensive, back against the ropes and then when I went into the fight in the early rounds, I was whooping him in the early rounds. I actually went back to my corner after the first round and said ‘this is easy’. I literally said that to my corner man, this is easy and then he had to switch up his style.”
McGregor, who despite his pre-fight antics is always humble after a win or loss, truly respects the way Mayweather leveraged his experience inside of the boxing ring.
“Now you’ve got to respect that. That’s what a crafty veteran can do. He can switch his style,” McGregor said. “He switched it to that old Mexican boxing style. Mexican boxing style is where you put your elbows in tight and this knuckle you put it just above the forehead and connect it and walk forward with heavy pressure. He never fought like that in his entire career. He was forced to fight that way cause he was getting beaten when he was fighting his old way.
“The approach caught me off guard. I was not prepared for it. I was not used to it and he walked me down and ended up getting the stoppage. The referee I felt could have let it go, I would have liked to see the end of the round, get my breathing back, get a little more comfortable.”
McGregor, who banked around $100 million for his first clash with Mayweather, would love the opportunity at a rematch. "Notorious" obviously has to make up ground in his MMA career after losing to Khabib late last year, but a reboot with "Money" would allow McGregor to prove he's the best striker in the world.
“I believe I would win," concluded McGregor. "Actually, there I go again with the fake humbleness — I know I would win.”
What say you, Maniacs? Is McGregor's assessment at all accurate? Does he have a better chance of defeating Mayweather in a rematch?