UFC: What next for Conor McGregor?
UFC star Conor McGregor could be set to trade blows with Floyd Mayweather once again later this year, according to reports. The Irishman is currently weighing up his options after Sunday’s shock defeat at the hands of Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
McGregor and Mayweather previously shared a ring back in 2017, with the undefeated American coming out on top after a dominant performance, claiming victory via technical knockout in the tenth round.
A second fight between the pair has been touted since McGregor’s loss on Sunday, which ended the 32-year-old’s hopes of seeking revenge against retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The event would undoubtedly provide another massive payday for both men after their first meeting, which took place at a packed-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, became one of the richest fights in the history of professional boxing.
With the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc across elite sport, it has been suggested that their rematch could play out in a slightly different setting.
Organisers are exploring the possibility of staging the fight on a cruise ship in Saudi Arabia, according to The Sun.
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The report claims that a ‘floating boxing ring’, in the form of a luxury boat, is being offered to matchmakers across the world and could be utilised for another showdown between McGregor and Mayweather.
The prospect of fighting on the water is not totally unheard of, with Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn revealing last year that Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev came close to taking place on a boat.
During the build-up to UFC 257 there was considerable speculation about a return to boxing for McGregor, with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao touted as a potential opponent for a fight later this year.
Mayweather, who has beaten both fighters in the ring, weighed in on the idea after Sunday’s event by urging McGregor to focus on re-establishing himself in the UFC first.
“Just know, that bum will never be me or be on my level,” said Mayweather.
“I’m just built different, my mindset is on another planet, my skills are second to none, I’m a natural born winner and yes I talk a lot of trash, but every time I back it up.
“Conor cannot even win in his own sport, but talking about coming back to boxing to fight Pacquiao. Nobody wants to see that, it’s like my leftovers eating leftovers.”
It remains to be seen whether McGregor and Mayweather will fight again, with the Irishman’s next move uncertain after the events of UFC 257.
Poirier produced a brilliant performance to break down McGregor with a number of debilitating leg kicks before finishing the job with a flurry of unanswered punches in the second round.
The former two-weight UFC champion vowed to come back stronger after the bout, admitting that he struggled to find his rhythm in his first fight for over a year.
“His leg kicks were good, my leg was dead and I wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be,” said McGregor. “I have to dust it off and come back and that’s what I’ll do.
“I’m gutted, it’s a tough one to swallow, I just want to go back to the hotel and chill with my kids and regroup.”
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