Hardcore MMA fans understand that in a real – MMA fight, Conor McGregor would very likely destroy Floyd Mayweather. But, not everyone is up to speed on the fine points of physical combat, and therein lies the problem according to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In recent weeks, the long rumored and discussed boxing match between McGregor and Mayweather has gone from something that many insiders scoffed at, to a fight that many believe will actually happen. Case in point, recently Dana White even said that since there’s so much money to be made by having the bout, he doesn’t see how it won’t take place.
Recently Nurmagomedov was on hand for a open workout at a “Eagles MMA” gym in Moscow, Russia. The undefeated fighter was asked to comment on McGregor – Mayweather, and here Nurmagomedov had this take on the situation (quote via Bloody Elbow):
“As a fan, it is a very interesting fight,” Khabib sai. “I understand perfectly why it is carried out. It is guaranteed to bring the organizers a lot of money. Such an event the world of martial arts is not yet known.”
“But in truth, for MMA it is a very dangerous fight. We’re close to boxing in terms of popularity ratings. And if the most-promoted fighter the UFC such as McGregor is defeated by a 40-year-old boxer, it would be a blow to the reputation of MMA. But the money apparently outweighs any risks.”
It’s an interesting point. After all, McGregor is one of the biggest stars in MMA, if not the biggest. So if he were to lose to Mayweather, some less informed folks, might see the result as evidence that boxing is superior to MMA. Especially if McGregor gets taken out in say the early rounds.
But, one could argue that a McGregor defeat won’t have long lasting, negative implications on MMA and the UFC brand. Unlike say, five, ten years ago, it does seem like even casual fans understand how important grappling is in a real fight scenario. Plus, leading up to the fight, McGregor likely won’t let anyone forget the reality of the situation.