Could Mayweather Beat McGregor in the UFC?

  • Floyd Mayweather applied for an MMA license and claims he’ll be UFC ready in 6-8 months. 
  • Would he stand a chance vs McGregor in the octagon?
  • Is former pro wrestler CM Punk a more realistic first opponent for “Money”?

Here we go again!

It seems Floyd Mayweather is seriously considering a move to MMA. Yes, seriously. The undefeated five-division boxing champion is applying for an MMA license and has recruited welterweight champ Tyron Woodley to prepare him for life inside the octagon. The pay-per-view king claims he’ll only need six to eight months of MMA training before he’s ready to make his UFC debut.

“I can wrestle. My wrestling game is not that bad. On a scale from one to ten, it’s probably a seven. And I think we can take it up to a nine, if possible,” Mayweather told TMZ. “My kicking game, on a scale from one to ten, is probably a four.”

Money hopes to break a billion dollars with a UFC deal, and if that means risking a shin to the face or being choked unconscious, then so be it. The idea of a 41-year-old Mayweather making the transition to MMA seems far too ridiculous to be true, but then again, that’s what we said about Mayweather vs McGregor in a boxing ring. 

Online betting sites are taking Mayweather’s UFC foray seriously and have posted opening odds for two potential MMA fights. The obvious fight to make is a rematch against Conor McGregor, who hasn’t set foot inside the octagon in over two years. The other potential opponent is CM Punk, who made an extremely unsuccessful transition from the WWE in 2016. Let’s check out the numbers.

Floyd Mayweather (+500) vs Conor McGregor (-900)

This is easy money right here. If Floyd Mayweather agrees to a fight against Conor McGregor under MMA rules, it’s going to be a quick and painful night for the 41-year-old boxer. There’s really nothing Mayweather can work to his advantage. He doesn’t have much power in his hands, he doesn’t have a height or reach advantage, and he isn’t particularly strong in the clinch. He’s an amazing defensive boxer, but the Philly shell would be rendered useless when met with takedowns and kicks.

Let’s not forget that Conor McGregor is a two-division UFC champion. He hasn’t fought in the UFC for over two years, but he’s still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Sure, he won’t be able to outbox Money May, but throw in a few kicks, a flurry of elbows, and a takedown and, as Mike Goldberg used to say, “it’s all over!”

The leap from MMA to boxing was tough for McGregor, but that’s nothing compared to what Mayweather is up against. Can he check a kick? Can he stuff a takedown? Can he fight in the clinch? Can he handle himself on the ground?

No, no, no, and no.

If this fight does get made, I’m confident it won’t be under the official MMA rules. There will have to be some concessions to give Money May at least some chance of survival. Still, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and Mayweather would have to learn a ton of new tricks in order to be competitive against McGregor.

This fight can only end one way. Pick McGregor.

Pick: Conor McGregor (-900)

CM Punk works his magic at the WWE with Daniel Bryan.
CM Punk works his magic against Daniel Bryan in the WWE. (Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi (Flickr) CC License)

Floyd Mayweather (+220) vs CM Punk (-300)

Here’s an interesting one. Mayweather vs CM Punk would see two aging fighters with little to no MMA experience stepping into the octagon to make many, many millions. CM Punk hails from the world of pro wrestling, and was promptly submitted by the little-known Mickey Gall when he decided to dip his toes into MMA. Depending on how seriously you take mixed martial arts, it was either a hilarious night or an embarrassment to the sport.

If Mayweather follows through on his plan to fight in the octagon, this is the smart fight to make. CM Punk will draw in fans from the WWE, Mayweather will draw in fans from boxing, and everyone else will be pulled in by the sheer spectacle of it all. It’ll be a PPV smash, and unlike a Mayweather vs Mcgregor octagon rematch, it could actually be competitive.

CM Punk is still the heavy favorite, though. Standing at 6’2”, he carries a huge size advantage over the 5’8” Mayweather. He’s also been been practicing MMA for some time now, having made his debut over two years ago. He’s certainly not an elite-level fighter and never will be, but he’s got two years of MMA experience over Money, and that counts for a lot.

Mayweather is, of course, the superior striker. But even if Mayweather is able to land a few clean shots on CM Punk, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to knock Punk out. Even if he lands a knockdown, will Mayweather be bold enough to take the fight to the ground?

I can see this being a lot closer than a McGregor fight. After all, it’s a fight between two rookies in their 40s. However, I still don’t see Mayweather’s path to victory.

Pick: CM Punk (-300)