Here Comes Conor
With a 40 second beat down of champion Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor made his return to UFC after more than a year away from the octagon.
In doing so he added yet another record to his impressive MMA CV, becoming the first UFC fighter to have knockout victories in three weights.
Conor is, once again, top of the tree and has cemented himself as perhaps the most exciting draw in combat sports today.
Leading up to the fight talk has been rife about another potential foray into the world of boxing for Conor.
Mutterings of a McGregor Manny meeting
The rumour mill is rumbling with suggestions that Dana White and Floyd Mayweather will join forces to promote a clash between Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao.
Following his UFC246 victory, this theory was favoured by respected Telegraph journalist Gareth A Davies who tweeted:
Heres my immediate post fight #ufc246 analysis – i believe @TheNotoriousMMA fight @GamebredFighter in July and @MannyPacquiao by the end of the year promoted by @FloydMayweather and @danawhite and the @ufc pic.twitter.com/tBWnIIdLuv
— Gareth A Davies (@GarethADaviesDT) 19 January 2020
So if the rumours are true, what can we expect from a fight between the biggest name in UFC and a living legend; multi-weight boxing World Champion Manny Pacquiao?
Firstly, boxing fans would need to brace themselves for the dreaded ‘casuals’.
Circa 2017, when Floyd Mayweather announced he was fighting McGregor, the world transformed into an apparent font of boxing knowledge.
Similar to when the Olympics are on TV and everyone can give Jessica Ennis tips on competing in the Heptathlon, we can certainly expect the same should boxing and UFC meet again this year.
Media hype around the fight will be colossal and even the mainstream media will get involved with the age-old debates between which art form is superior.
Watch out for the weight limit
Secondly, the fighters’ weight will almost certainly be a considerable factor in this fight.
It is often forgotten that Manny Pacquiao won his first WBC world title as a flyweight.
Since then he’s worked himself up through the weights to win his latest title at super-welterweight (154lbs), although he has fought almost exclusively at 147lbs since 2011.
Conor McGregor, on the other hand, won his first championship at 145lbs, fought Floyd Mayweather at 153lbs and is now fighting at over 160lbs.
Perhaps the most decisive factor in the outcome of this fight will be made months before they step into the ring when the weight limit is decided.
Brace for a brutal fight
Thirdly, expect a brutal contest!
Unlike the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, where both fighters were effectively counter-punchers, this potential match has all the ingredients of a half-decent dust-up.
McGregor is a big hitter and will have a natural size advantage. He’s known to research his opponents and will understand that letting Pacquaio fight his fight will be potentially devastating.
Pacquaio, even in the twilight of his career at age 41, is a phenomenal force to be reckoned with.
Recognised as a legitimate world champion, he is a volume punching handful and any fighter in front of him without fast feet, excellent defence and supreme lateral movement is in big trouble.
Finally, who wins?
For my money, and as a boxing fan, it will be Pacquaio on top. I predict a win via destruction, probably with mid-rounds stoppage providing there’s some compromise on fight weight.
Whatever happens, the event will surely bring fireworks and put boxing back in the spotlight.
Fight like ‘The Notorious’ with our Cleto Reyes MMA Grappling Gloves.