Lightweight champion Conor McGregor sent some minor shockwaves through the MMA world last night when news arrived that he had been granted a boxing license in the State of California.
The news was relevant because ‘The Notorious’ has long been linked to a potential boxing super fight with retired great Floyd Mayweather Jr., a bout that many considered a long shot at best to happen despite the insane amount of hype attached. It may have been dealt a glimmer of hope last night, but Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe was quick to speak up and squash the speculation while speaking to ESPN:
“He’s a very good MMA fighter, give credit where it’s due. It’s kind of played out now. Just stop it. The con game is over. Go out there and worry about dominating the UFC because three fights ago he lost, he was quitting. You couldn’t even mention the word quit with Floyd Mayweather.”
According to Ellerbe, McGregor is simply looking to keep the headlines flowing in a time where he was recently stripped of his UFC featherweight championship in order to make Jose Aldo the official champion. He said that he and the whole Mayweather camp know McGregor is under contract with the UFC, and they would never let him get in a boxing ring with Mayweather because of what the result would be:
“It’s all a game. It’s all a calculated effort to gain more fans,” Ellerbe said. “He got a boxing license. Congratulations to him. Conor McGregor can say anything he wants to but he has a boss and his name is [UFC president] Dana White. He is under contract to the UFC and if he wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match he can’t because his bosses wouldn’t allow that to happen. The brass [from WME-IMG] who recently purchased the UFC [for $4 billion earlier this year] are very smart people and they would never — and put this in bold caps — let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather because everyone knows what the outcome would be. He would get his ass beat from pillar to post.”
As far as that’s concerned, White issued his own response to Yahoo! Sports, noting that while he didn’t know what the ‘Notorious” next move will be, McGregor is indeed obviously under contract with the UFC:
“I have no idea what Conor is doing,” White told Yahoo Sports when asked his opinion of McGregor obtaining a boxing license. “Conor’s Conor. He does his thing. But he’s under contract to me. Who knows with this guy? Who knows what he is up to. I just let Conor be Conor. And the other thing is, it’s fun to talk about this fight and what might happen, but what commission would let that fight happen? Really, think about that.”
White has a good point, but if CSAC Director Andy Foster’s welcoming words were any indication, that commission might ‘let that fight happen’ without much hold-up. Should they?