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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Is Conor McGregor Doomed Against Floyd Mayweather?

August 9, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor Mayweather vs. McGregor

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to shed the light on what is fact and what is fiction in everything professional mixed martial arts. Thank you, for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and encouraged. Last week, I locked horns with Wyatt Beougher over Jon Jones’ next opponent, Daniel Cormier’s next move, and the UFC increasing fighter pay in addition to other topics. Wyatt and I traded hard punches. We both brought fire and kept the pressure going strong. After a pair of broken noses, bruises, knock downs, and swollen eyes the contest was declared a draw! Thank you, Wyatt, for your efforts and contributions, it is appreciated.

This week, I’m lacing the boots back up for a war with your host of 411’s Ground and Pound Radio Show, Robert Winfree. This will be no dance as Robert looks to smash my face as we lock horns over Paul Malignaggi leaving Conor McGregor’s camp, Cat Zingano looking for a fight with Cris Cyborg, Sergio Pettis proving he’s a title contender, and much more! Go grab some grub and sit back because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s get this going…

TALE OF THE TAPE

RED CORNER
Robert “The Last Rider” Winfree
Contributor/Live Coverage Guru/Host, 411 MMA Zone/411 Ground and Pound Radio Show
6-4-1

VS

BLUE CORNER
Lorenzo “Corpse Grinder” Vasquez III
Host/Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
9-5-1


The loss of Paul Malignaggi is a tremendous setback for Conor McGregor’s camp and his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Robert Winfree: FICTION It’s not exactly a good thing, but hardly a massive setback. Malignaggi is a defensive minded fighter with pretty quick hands, so using him as a sparring partner makes some sense, but he’s hardly a perfect mimic for Mayweather.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION Conor’s been at a tremendous setback since the day he and Mayweather signed the contract. The UFC superstar is learning a game while Mayweather is this generation’s greatest to ever play the game. I’m not convinced Conor will do anything significant after the first half of the fight and that’s even if Paul Malignaggi stayed onboard until the very last second of camp. Having someone like Malignaggi to spar with was a great addition for Conor, I’m sure it helped to hone in his skill, but Malignaggi was never as great as Mayweather. What Conor really needs is time. Sparring partners make a difference but having time to put the work in and refine your skill is essential and six or seven months of boxing isn’t enough time in Conor’s case. At this stage in the road to the fight, while Malignaggi was a great addition to the camp, I don’t think it was going to make a big difference.


Conor McGregor himself was not disrespectful nor unsportsmanlike by having outsiders like, Dana White, present for his spar with Paul Malignaggi and not controlling what photographs of the session were released, it is simply the fault of his camp and not himself directly.

Robert Winfree: FICTION Sorry, but I’m going with something close to strict liability here. Conor is paying everyone in his camp, from coaches to sparring partners. Having others sit in on a session is one thing, but if there are NDA’s in place everyone in attendance should be made aware of them. This happened under McGregor’s watch, during something he’s in charge of, he bears a significant amount of culpability. If the question at hand is who’s more to blame, he might be a little further down the list than others, but he doesn’t get a full pass.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION What happened to Malignaggi shouldn’t be too surprising; it’s not the first time these types of accusations have been thrown to McGregor. At the end of the day, Conor is calling the shots, and thus, bears responsibility for how things unfolded with Malignaggi. Maybe this is what he intended to do, or maybe not, but I have a feeling this leans to the “intended” side of things. And I have a feeling McGregor’s camp inviting Malignaggi was for more than just getting some good rounds in to help McGregor get ready for Mayweather.


Stipe Miocic needs to get his head on his shoulders, sort out his contract/pay issue with the UFC, schedule his next title defense, and stop with all the nonsense about boxing Anthony Joshua.

Robert Winfree: FACT I actually think Stipe’s head is firmly on his shoulders, he’s seeing an MMA fighter move into boxing one bout and make seven to eight times what that fighter would normally make for an MMA bout. Given that McGregor is one of the highest paid fighters in the UFC that’s a significant chunk of change. Miocic doesn’t command the same price tag McGregor does, but the general principles are similar if a boxing match between Miocic and Joshua were to happen Miocic would likely make more than he would in three or four UFC fights and the man wants to get paid. Add in that Miocic actually has a solid amateur boxing background and what he’s trying to do makes sense from his perspective. That being said, Miocic doesn’t have the recognition or fan support that McGregor does and Anthony Joshua isn’t likely to pull the same stunt that Mayweather has gone along with. I’d much rather see Miocic set to defend his title against the next contender in line than deal with another circus pertaining to some iteration of boxing vs. MMA.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT I understand what Miocic is doing and it really shouldn’t be held against him. He sees greener pastures, has an actual amateur boxing background (was a Cleveland Golden Gloves boxing champion), and sees an opportunity to grow his brand. You can’t hate on a man for wanting more money. But, unfortunately, Miocic isn’t the seller he needs to be to be able to call the big shots (at least as it pertains to fighting in a boxing bout against Anthony Joshua). And such a bout isn’t too intriguing. At the moment, he’d serve himself better to defend his title and aim for breaking the record of UFC heavyweight title defenses.


SWITCH!

Sorry, Anthony Pettis, but a fight against Dustin Poirier makes zero sense.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION From a rankings standpoint this seems like an easy fact. Pettis is ranked No. 12 while Poirier is No. 8. It makes no sense for Poirier to fight someone ranked out of the top ten. Normally, I’d be against such a matchup. But Pettis has some name value and is a former champion and he seems back to form after a failed run at featherweight that saw him compete in an interim title fight. Plus both are fun fighters to watch and it would be a fun fight. For Poirier, a win over Pettis is a feather in his cap while, for Pettis, a win over Poirier gets him closer to another run at the lightweight strap.

Robert Winfree: FICTION Nah, I’m all for this fight. Pettis just got back on track at lightweight against a fighter who’s closing in on the end of his career while Poirier got the wrong end of the stick on a referee’s call during his fight with Eddie Alvarez. Poirier has proven himself a top lightweight, Pettis is trying to set up another run at the belt, neither man has another opponent scheduled now that the UFC decided to tie up Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez for months with the upcoming TUF season, so why not throw these two together and enjoy the carnage.


Forget Megan Anderson and Holly Holm, Cat Zingano has the skills and enough zest to beat Cris Cyborg, and thus, should be the next fighter challenging the UFC Women’s Featherweight Champ.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION Cat Zingano is as tough as they come. She’s gritty and she does have skill. She’s also barking up Cris Cyborg’s tree and making a good sales pitch. I can see her putting up a fight, maybe the most fight out of Megan Anderson, Holly Holm, and herself but that doesn’t mean she should be next. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Anderson and Holm should get Cyborg before Zingano. Anderson for obvious reasons and Holm because her featherweight title fight loss was controversial. And as far as for Zingano beating Cyborg, the chance is there, as I said she’s a tough cookie. But I don’t think she beats her. Cyborg’s striking looked refined in her last outing. Her pressure was constant, for the most part, she didn’t appear to be slowing down, and her size is hard to deal with in itself. I’d favor a counter and defensive fighter like Holm over Zingano to beat Cyborg. Cyborg is a tall order for any female fighter and, while I like Zingano’s bravery, her turn is not up.

Robert Winfree: FICTION I’m not sold on any of those three being the one to dethrone Cyborg, Anderson is still a little green and got wobbled when fighting Charmine Tweet while Holm has the striking chops to beat Cyborg when you add in clinching and mat fighting I still tend to lean towards Cyborg. The case for Zingano largely relies on her durability, she’s a good fighter but her defense is suspect and she relies on being the one moving forward. Cyborg rarely backs up, and Zingano is more likely to start retreating in the cage and she’s just not at her best in that case. I’d like to see all three of those fights happen, but I have a hard time legitimately picking against Cyborg in any of them.


Sergio Pettis fought a great fight and earned a big victory, however, he’s not ready for a title shot and all the talk surrounding him and title shots are in big part due to Demetrious Johnson cleaning out the division.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT This is an easy fact. Sergio Pettis still needs at least one or two wins over a top five flyweight. But, because the flyweight division is home to the best fighter at this time, Demetrious Johnson, many will say he is ready merely because Johnson cleaned out the division. Pettis is a developing fighter and if he keeps progressing he’ll find him as a legitimate title contender. For now, we have to stop short of saying he is ready for a title shot.

Robert Winfree: FACT though the UFC’s release of a couple of other high level flyweights, Kyoji Horiguchi chief among them, hasn’t helped the division retain a robust stature. Johnson has already beaten most of the top of the division, in some cases more than once, and while there are a couple of guys he hasn’t fought such as Jussier Formiga those fighters haven’t been able to string together enough wins to really warrant a shot at the belt. Pettis is a good fighter but this was his first five round fight and just his second against a ranked opponent, him taking on someone like Henry Cejudo, Wilson Reis, or Joseph Benavidez would be more in line with tracking his growth and getting him experience. Instead of that, he’s going to be rushed into a title fight if Johnson beats Borg just because Johnson will have taken out everyone else.


So who won? Did I get the upset or did Robert lay down the law? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!


And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

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