Previously unreleased footage of McGregor entering the arena before his March 2016 UFC 196 loss to Nate Diaz is released. As McGregor heads for the octagon, draped in the Irish tricolour, to the sounds of Sinéad O’Connor’s Foggy Dew, he says:
Sing to me Sinéad. Sing me into war.
Coach Kavanagh issues encouragement to his fighter before the walk is made.
He shouldn’t have asked for it. Now he’s gonna get it.
McGregor lost to a rear naked chokehold towards the end of the second round.
Unseen footage Conor McGregor backstage at UFC 196 and John Kavanagh advice
Striking coach Winkeljohn says he can see a scenario in which McGregor gets the job done.
If I was to put money on it I’d put Mayweather. But I think Conor has a chance early on. I think if Conor can come in with some different things that Floyd hasn’t seen, off-angle things that he can attack so Floyd can’t hide behind his shoulder as such, he could pull off a surprise. But that would play out real quickly if Conor’s thinking those thoughts. He’s got to come to the table with something that Floyd hasn’t seen much before. And those are the things Conor can do. Conor’s very athletic. Conor’s got a great understanding of angles and footwork. But to do those things, that takes a lot of energy. And in a world title fight do you hold back because you’re worried about running out of gas, or do you just let it go? And that’s tough. That’s a hard call to make on the outside, trying to figure out what’s going on in a fighter’s mind.
Coker, who is the CEO of the Bellator promotion, says there could be long-term repercussions that could affect the UFC’s biggest superstar.
Obviously, it’s gonna be a big money maker for everybody and that’s why they’re doing it. But you’re putting your fighter in harm’s way, so what’s the long-term impact on that? I’m not sure. But I’ll tell you this: It’ll be a lot of fun to watch…Any time Mayweather fights, the circus is in town, man. It’s gonna be a big, big promotion. And Conor he can carry his own on the mic. The whole campaign leading up to the event is gonna be more entertaining than the fight.
Ferguson says he’s impressed by McGregor’s switch to boxing.
Conor is not going to lose anything off it because he’s taking a chance in another sport, and I have to give homeboy credit, because that’s cool. I was always a multi-sport athlete when I was younger, and this right here is dope. I would love to box. I want to go into GLORY and I want to kickbox. I don’t like sitting on the sidelines. I like to stay active. I have to say that with Conor, you have to step up your boxing skills. You’re messing with a lion in there. MMA is a completely different sport. You are a striker, son, not a boxer. This is boxing. You’re not going to be able to go in there and strike. It’s a different sport and a different animal…Win or lose, I think Conor is an athlete; I think he’s going to have it in his head that he’s not going to have to sit on the sidelines. I see it in Conor’s face, I see it in his mannerisms that he’s hungry, that’s he’s always going to want to dig to try and get the bigger, better picture. He’s made that money, so maybe he’s not trying to look after the money part. He wants to secure that legacy and he wants to go down in the books.
Hunter, who trains Andre Ward, the current number one pound for pound boxer, says that McGregor should simply rush Mayweather.
[If I was training McGregor I’d] condition him to be a straight brawler…forget boxing…just get in tip-top shape where you go in and literally run at him and just throw. I would definitely take the blueprint of Maidana, and just throw. If he’s trying to box and be technical about it, it’s not gonna work…Just run at him and fight. He can’t do it continuously, but y’know, when you have a chance.
VIRGIL HUNTER ADVISES MCGREGOR TO USE MAIDANA BLUEPRINT FOR MAYWEATHER; DISCUSSES GAME PLAN
Woodley says he is going to put $1000 on McGregor to beat Mayweather.
To be honest, me and Conor ain’t really seen eye to eye on a lot of things. In the end I still really want to scrap him. But I’m betting on Conor [Because] I bet a grand, I win 6500 bucks. I bet two grand, get 13 grand. This is freaking combat sports, anybody got a chance. So I’m willing to lose for the chance to win… I don’t think he’s gonna win, but if he prove me wrong then I, at least, want to cash in on it.
Hatton, who was stopped by Mayweather in the 10th round when the pair met in 2007, says the American could win every round, although accepts there could be plenty of entertainment.
I can’t say I’m a fan of it. I’m a fan of UFC, a fan of McGregor – he’s got character, he’s exciting, entertaining, value for money. I hope I don’t upset any Irish fans or Conor, but I can’t get excited about this fight one bit. When I look at some of the people Mayweather has beaten like Saul Alvarez – he’s not going to be as big a puncher as Alvarez, and he couldn’t lay a glove on him. I feel embarrassed to say this but I’d be very surprised if [McGregor] wins a round. I hope he does well. I hope he wins. There’s no doubt whose corner I’m in, but if you’re asking me to be brutally honest I can’t see anything other than a shut-out for Mayweather. I think it could be a 12-round onslaught, to be honest with you…Boxing and UFC have to take the blame for it – I don’t think you can blame the fighters because it’s going to be a stack of money. Good luck to the boys. Who’s going to turn their back on that? I just can’t say I’m a fan of this. I’m fans of both sports but they’re their own individual sports and they should stick to their own.
Danis, McGregor’s jiu-jitsu partner, say that the Irishman will not retire from MMA.
MMA’s his passion so he’ll go back to that for sure. At the end of the day we’re all competitive…I know him, this is his love, this is his passion…I think he’ll knock [Mayweather] out [in] under six rounds.
CONOR MCGREGOR LOVES MMA TOO MUCH TO RETIRE … Says Training Partner | TMZ Sports
Van Heerden explains why he released a video of him sparring with McGregor along with comments where he said McGregor would not be able to ‘land’ a punch on Mayweather.
Because people are tweeting and talking and telling me that Mayweather has his hands full landing on Conor McGregor. I’m a professional fighter — boxer. And I’m standing up for the sport. I was just making it very clear that, don’t be ridiculous. If I could land, don’t tell me Floyd Mayweather is not gonna land…This is just a platform to prove that in boxing, a mixed martial artist taking on a boxer in the world of a boxer, you’re not gonna beat a boxer in boxing taking him on if you come from mixed martial arts.
Despite his earlier comments, he says that McGregor has a small change.
Yes, he has a slight chance of pulling it off. He’s a fighter, he’s a mixed martial artist. He can land one big punch. It can happen. This is fighting, it’s two men in the ring. The opportunity is there. He doesn’t have a zero chance of beating or causing the biggest upset in the sport. Yes, he has. In my opinion and I’m gonna stick by it and I’m not afraid to say it, there’s no way he’s beating Mayweather…I have nothing but respect for McGregor. There’s no bad blood. I think [he’s] phenomenal. And being a southpaw, it’s gonna work in his favor. He’s got the power to do it. I wasn’t fazed by his power, I wasn’t hurt. But again, we didn’t have 10-ounce gloves on and he’s got some small chance of causing an upset.
Chris van Heerden On Why He Released Conor McGregor Sparring Video, Not Fazed By Him
Sulaiman, the WBC president, says he is considering a one-off diamond belt for the McGregor-Mayweather fight.
Maybe, I don’t know. I’m not against it. Of course this is a WBC board decision but we have to celebrate that boxing is having world attention regardless. We need to receive from the promoter if they want any intervention from a boxing organisation. We do medicals, we do drug testing, weigh-ins and specific boxing matters that helps the promoter with the organisation to conduct safely an event. We haven’t received anything yet and we don’t know what Mayweather wants to do.
He also believes Mayweather will win:
When you have a Muay Thai fighter in Thailand, they make their career and then they jump into international boxing and many have been very successful. McGregor has been successful in MMA but in boxing rules it’s going to be a very difficult challenge for him…It’s hard to say if it’s a mismatch. I personally don’t see a way that Mayweather can lose to McGregor because it’s in boxing and you are talking about Floyd Mayweather, the greatest tactical fighter who has intelligence and speed.
TMZreports that the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is already booked for the proposed date for the McGregor-Mayweather fight on August 26 by Ice Cube’s BIG 3 basketball league. BIG3 sources say they have no plans to move — they still have the venue booked and expect to play there on August 26th. McGregor-Mayweather sources say that BIG 3 will be moved to MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Lobov says he is putting his career on hold while he helps McGregor prepare to fight Mayweather.
I was offered a fight with Andre Fili. He was calling me out on Twitter. I would’ve taken the fight, but it’s just too hard for me to commit to something on July 29. I’m needed in this camp. It would’ve been too much of a risk for me…Let’s be honest: I don’t give a (expletive) about Andre Fili. I could fight that guy any day of the week. Once this fight is out of the way, and Conor knocks out Mayweather and has the world at his feet, we can see what’s going to happen then. Conor got into the UFC. We all helped him to get there, and then he pulled everybody up there with him. I owe it to him to help him in any way I can…I know John Kavanagh is going to be involved. Owen Roddy will be involved, too. This is the team that we prepare with for every fight, and it will be no different for this fight. This has been the team from the start. This is the dream team, and it’s staying that way. Of course, if we feel that there are some areas where we are lacking knowledge or expertise, we will bring in people.
He also believes that McGregor will win:
There’s one thing I would say to all of the critics: Don’t try to hate the man that dares to do the impossible. He has proven plenty of people wrong before, so I think it’s time for everybody to support him and believe in him. Conor doesn’t just show up for a payday and take a beating. He is in this fight because he knows he can win it. I know he can win this. Not only do I know he can win this, he will win it. I’m 100 percent certain of that. He stops him before Round 6 is over. Mark my words.
In his first interview since his fight with McGregor is announced, Mayweather pays tribute to his opponent.
McGregor is a tough competitor. People all around the world demanded this fight, so I had to give the people what they wanted to see. They asked for this fight, I was retired but they wanted me back. I’m back. Both parties are very happy. He’s very happy, I’m very happy and I can’t wait. … Believe in Conor … he’s a hell of a competitor.
Floyd Mayweather First Interview About Conor McGregor Fight During All Eyez on Me Red Carpet
Collins, who helped train McGregor in boxing, says he knew McGregor would make an impact in the sport.
Four years ago, I always reckoned that he could have gone all the way in boxing for the reason that his work ethic is unbelievable. You know when somebody walks into a room and stands out. I would watch him for an hour and he’d practice the same move over and over. He’s brave, he’s got a heart, and he’s afraid of nobody.
Saki, who recently signed to the UFC, and is a world championship kickboxer, says McGregor’s pressure could be decisive against Mayweather.
I spar a lot of professional boxing fighters also and they’re used to fighting over twelve rounds, three minutes. They start slowly. If Conor starts aggressive and he makes a lot of pressure… If I was him, I would make war with Floyd for five, six rounds. I believe — everybody will laugh — but I believe he will make a chance because he has good eyes too. They are not used to aggressive fighters. If you see [Floyd’s] last couple of fights, only Maidana was fighting aggressive with him. He hit him a couple of times. He also almost knocked him out.
Gokhan Saki: "I will dominate UFC like Conor McGregor & he will beat Floyd Mayweather"
Attar, McGregor’s manager and founder of Paradigm Sports Management, talks about the McGregor-Mayweather deal.
Early on it was really still a vision that not too many, other than I think Floyd, Conor and our team, really saw as being a viable opportunity. Fan interest started building up; the fans really want to see this and then the UFC sat down with us. That was when it started to feel real. I think credit to all parties involved. Going through the negotiation process, figuring out what’s important to all parties and then being able to connect all the dots and make a deal is unprecedented…The fight is unprecedented. I think what we’ve done, just in regards to having Conor cross over and box arguably the greatest boxer of all time is unprecedented and I think this event will be unprecedented. I think the fans are going to walk away feeling really happy. The naysayers think that Conor is walking in there for a payday but he’s going in there to compete; he is going in there to shock the world. He’s kinda had that approach an chip on his shoulder throughout his entire, and young, fight career thus far. This fight is no different. The stakes are really high. We’re really happy from a business standpoint how the deal ended up but make no mistake about it, he is going in there to compete.
Conor McGregor's Agent Audie Attar discusses when the fight became real (6/15/17)
Viagogo, an online ticket reseller, is selling tickets for what it describes as ‘The Billion Dollar Fight’ between McGregor and Mayweather at prices ranging from €7,386.89 to €891,067 (US$993,000). By comparison, For the so-called ‘Fight of the Century’ (Pacquiao vs Mayweather), tickets were almost impossible to come by with a huge number being distributed to sponsors, promoters, and celebrities before they even went on general sale. When the public eventually did have a chance to try and purchase tickets for the event, they were being sold for prices varying from $1,500 to $7,500 and sold out in a matter of seconds. However, in the United States, it is legal to resell tickets online via third party platforms and some were resold for as much as $128,000.
Irish boxer Jason Quigley says McGregor will KO Mayweather.
People’s gonna think I’m crazy. People’s gonna go mad about this. But mark my words, Conor McGregor is gonna knock Mayweather cold..Conor believes it. I belive it, and Ireland believes it. Conor has so much belief in himself. Floyd Mayweather is moving on in his career, he’s getting past it a bit. He keeps himself well, don’t get me wrong. But Floyd Mayweather won’t damage McGregor..McGregor is gonna open a lot of eyes. He’s gonna make history and be the first man to knock Mayweather out cold.
ESPN’s Max Kellerman says McGregor as a “pure puncher” but doesn’t believe that he will connect on a single punch against Mayweather.
Conor McGregor is a pure puncher. The reason I know he’s a purch puncher is that I’ve seen him score knockouts going backwards. That is not easy to do…You need to be a price punching power. McGregor has natural punching ability…I’m a big McGregor fan, and if he had been boxing all this time maybe it’ll be a different story…But Conor McGregor will not land a single punch against Floyd. Not one punch.
White says McGregor will be contractually prohibited from “going rogue” and elbowing or kicking Mayweather in their Aug. 26 boxing match. White also says there will be no MMA component to the show.
There is no way that will happen. That is absolutely in the contract, No.1. No. 2 this is a boxing match under the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. When you talk about a guy like Floyd Mayweather — the lawsuit if that ever happened…you all know how much Conor likes money. Conor would depart with a whole lot of money if that ever happened.
White and Mayweather’s management team talk to journalists on a conference call. White says that McGregor will face a legal penalty if he uses MMA techniques in the ring. He also says that the financial details are confidential. White:
McGregor told me today: The McGregor clan has been taking over villages for 300 years and the Mayweather village is next.
White appears live on Facebook to answer fan questions. He confirms the date, venue, weight and gloves choice. He says the undercard will be put together by Mayweather’s side.
I think that whenever two guys get in there and start throwing punches, anything is possible. If you talk to Conor McGregor he’ll make you belive he’ll win this fight…Conor will turn around and fight again this year after the Mayweather fight…there will be no MMA on this event this event, only boxing…the weight was not an issue at all with Floyd Mayweather, which I didn’t expect…the press conference will be ridiculous…Mayweather, seriously guys, has not complained about anything, he’s been actually really easy to deal with.
White says McGregor will fight Mayweather at T-Mobile Arena at 154 pounds.
We’ve been in negotiations now for a while, and to be honest with you negotiations went smooth. Floyd is surrounded by smart people and we got this thing done. The impossible deal is now done.It’ll be at the T-Mobile Centre in Vegas, it’ll be at 154-pounds, they’ll wear 10-0z gloves, it’ll be in a ring. It’s a boxing event. Mayweather Promotions will build the undercard for it. Those are pretty much the basics right now.
Light heavyweight champion Andre Ward says he doesn’t think the McGregor-Mayweather matchup will hurt boxing.
No, not at all. I think you just got to see it for what it’s worth. I think it’s something that’s never been done before in the sport, and I think just enjoy it. You’re going to pay and wanna tune in and be engaged with the spectacle, just understand what you’re getting into. And if it’s also a great fight, for however long it lasts, then that’s a bonus. All this talk about it ruining boxing — this is just something different. You’re going to have people speak out against it, it’s never been done before. But look at all the mainstream press that this situation has been getting over the last year. Every fighter that I see, every interview I do, I’m asked about it. And it’s bringing attention to our sport, casual attention. Mainstream attention.
Andre Ward Doesn't Believe Mayweather vs Conor Would Hurt Boxing Thinks Fans Would Enjoy It
Van Heerden, who sparred with McGregor in May 2016, says McGregor cannot beat Mayweather at boxing. Van Heerden says that despite having just come back from vacation and being out of shape, he still “landed at will” on McGregor.
I had an opportunity to work with him. It’s crazy I read all of these posts where people go: Mayweather is gonna have his hands full landing on McGregor because of Conor’s skill and footwork and Mayweather. I’m no Mayweather, and out of camp and out of shape, I landed on Conor McGregor. And my trainer, at my ringside. We landed at will. It is crazy to think that people can actually compare a fighter who is 0/0 compared to a legend that’s 49/0, and who has beaten the best of the best in the world…[McGregor does not have that knockout power.] Mayweather knows how to recover. He hasn’t lost many rounds.
Hee interviews Jeff Mayweather and Kevin Newman about the date, the venue, the weight, and Floyd’s training for the fight with McGregor. Jeff:
Well I don’t know anything. But Floyd is training, so he’s getting ready for something…Now he’s working consistently. Normally he wouldn’t do that unless he’s getting ready for something…To be honest, any time Floyd fights it’s gonna be huge…I’ve heard [they will fight at] 150. Floyd will be comfortable at any weight…It’s a boxing match, it’s not an MMA match, so it doesn’t matter what Conor brings. He’s got two hands just like Floyd.
JEFF MAYWEATHER, KEVIN NEWMAN: FLOYD’S TRAINING FOR CONOR AUG 26 AT MGM; WEIGHT CLASS, TRAINER
Holloway speaks about his experiences facing both Aldo and McGregor, and says of the two Aldo is the hardest hitter.
We saw a bunch of things in José’s game that I thought I could take advantage of and that we did. His favourite tool to use are the leg-kick and the knee. After the first round I told my corner ‘he’s not that fast’ but his explosiveness is quick. He’s definitely the hardest hitter I’ve ever felt and his hands are huge.
Max Holloway on Making a Legacy: 'I'm Not Trying to Be B.J. Penn'
Former WBO super middleweight and middleweight champion Steve Collins, who was one of the earliest sports stars to acknowledge McGregor’s potential, says ‘The Notorious’ can beat Mayweather.
This is a guy that I know for 20 years. He was involved in my career. When he said it could happen if it was put together the right way, I knew it was a possibility. It’s a guaranteed money-maker. Whether it’s through curiosity or belief, or just wanting to see one martial art against another, all the ingredients are there to make this happen. I thought it would have happened sooner, if anything, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we see these guys in the ring soon…I could tell you how he could beat Mayweather. I can see him doing it. A victory for Conor is something that can definitely happen, and I think he will shock the world. He has the tools and the ability. If he prepares the right way, he won’t just beat Mayweather – he’ll stop him.
Regarding Eddie Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya’s criticism of the fight:
They should all just shut their mouths and concentrate on their own careers. All of these boxers are just jealous because Conor and Mayweather are going to make a fortune. Between the two of them, they’re creating interest that is unprecedented. The guys who are calling this a mockery are just upset because they aren’t in the headlines. If they were in the middle of this and they were fighting McGregor, they wouldn’t be saying any of this. It’s just jealousy.
Mayweather has booked the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for August 26th, for a potential superfight with McGregor. Mayweather has fought at the venue for the final dozen bouts of his career. His promotional company have also reserved the arena on August 25 for a weigh-in. The as yet unannounced fight will be shown on Showtime, Mayweather’s long-time broadcaster of choice.
Jones Jr. is asked for comment on Oscar De La Hoya and Dana White’s spat over the McGregor-Mayweather fight.
You got understand and where De La Hoya comes from. You gotta understand where Dana comes from I understand both sides. It’s not a true boxing event. It’s above boxing…It’s not bad for boxing because the boxer should win. It’s only bad for boxing if the MMA guy get luck and clip the boxer. Otherwise it couldn’t possibly bad for boxing. They are boxing. This guy [McGregor] has an name in MMA, not i boxing. So it gives boxing an advantage…It’s gonna be the event that everyone wants to see.
White clarifies his position regarding Johnson’s claims of bullying.
Most of what he said was not true. He didn’t want pay-per-view. He wanted up front money. He wasn’t very confident in his abilities in selling pay-per-views. He has the lowest selling pay=per-views in the history of the UFC in the modern era. No 2: I think that a fight between him and TJ Dillashaw is something that people would be actually interested in, and could sell pay-per-views, and could make money. But he absolutely refuses to fight the guy. It’s ridiculous…We’re not marketing him? We built a TV show around him. The Ultimate Fighter was about what an incredible fighter his is. We put him on Fox many times and tried to build him. It is what it is…I’m bullying you? How do you bully the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world?..The media claims he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. I think Conor McGregor is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Conor will fight anybody, anywhere, any time. If Demetrious is the best P4P then fight TJ Dillashaw. Fight someone people actually care about.
Dana White – Demetrious Johnson is a LIAR and Conor Mcgregor is P4P King
White says that, contrary to recent reports, he is actively running the Mayweather-McGregor negotiations.
We live in a world right now where you can’t believe anything that you read. Who else would be running the Mayweather, McGregor deal than me? What does WME [Ari Emanuel’s talent agency] know about making big fights? Trust me, I’m running the Mayweather, McGregor deal. I’m the only one in it.
McGregor fan, Tom Nolan, releases a video of his weight loss and mental transformation, inspired by McGregor. Nolan was suffering panic attacks and was suicidal until he saw McGregor face Jose Aldo. He has since lost over one hundred pounds.
How Conor McGregor held himself, how he spoke, his mental state and how he truly had that self-belief was something I took notes on. Was something that I watched deeply and started to say ‘well, if he can think like that, why can’t I?’
Two Irishmen unveil a 4ft square portrait of McGregor, made from over 12,000 pieces of Lego. The pair, who are part of adult LEGO group Brick.ie, say the project took them two months to complete.
We’re fans of McGregor and big fans of LEGO so we thought we would combine the two together and make this. We had to design it on the computer so between that and actually making it it took us between two and two and a half months. The computer design took about a week and then the LEGO part there is about 300 hours in it, myself and Jay had to make time with work and everything. He lives in Meath and I live in Dublin so I had to travel down every day to do it, but it was worth it in the end.
McGregor is renting a five-bedroom, 4,500 sq ft home in Killiney Hil, one of Dublin’s best known neighbourhoods, through June, July and August. The property, which is listed on AirBnB, is on Vico Road, overlooking Killiney Bay and just a short walk from Dalkey village, where Bono, The Edge and Van Morrison live. The house was formerly owned by former Formula One driver Eddie Irvine, who sold it in 2008 for €6 million. It was recently advertised at €768 per night and will cost McGregor around €70,000 for his three month stay.