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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Did Floyd Mayweather Carry Conor McGregor?

December 13, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor Mayweather vs. McGregor - Leonard Ellerbe

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to bring you another round of fact or fiction MMA. And, thank you, for your votes and comments last week, it is appreciated and encouraged. Last week, Robert Winfree and Evan Zivin locked horns over topics like Francis Ngannou’s future outlook, Donald Cerrone jumping back down to lightweight, and illegal streaming of UFC pay-per-views. Robert and Evan entered some wild exchanges with both men getting tagged on multiple occasions. When the dust settled Robert stood victories over Evan. Congratulations Robert, and thank you both for your efforts and contributions.

This week, Handsome Dan Plunkett steps up to the plate to challenge the heavy hitting Mark Radulich. Look for this to be a barnburner as they lock horns over Brian Ortega’s win over Cub Swanson, Mayweather Jr. claiming he carried Conor McGregor, GSP vacating the middleweight title, and much more! Go grab that grub and get ready because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA!

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Mark “Headshrinker” Radulich
Supreme Overlord,
Radulich in Broadcasting Network

5-8-1

VS

BLUE CORNER
“Handsome” Dan Plunkett
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
5-8-1


Georges St-Pierre did the right thing by vacating the UFC middle title, thus proving why he is the smartest fighter to this date with respect to his career and lasting legacy.

Mark Radulich: FACT GSP may not have made the most popular decision but he probably made the best decision for his career. Retiring with only 2 losses in your career, a title in 2 divisions and a win streak at the top of the welterweight division 13 fights long is something nobody can take from him. At 36 years of age, life as a fighter can only become harder, especially on his aging body. The propensity to make a mistake or injure yourself, thus causing a loss and tainting one’s legacy only grows from one year to the next. Consider the case of Fedor who at 34 years old went on 3 fight losing streak that resulted in him going back to Russia and fighting guys who were either well past their prime or had no business in the cage with him in the first place. And then, of course, he lost to Matt Mitrione earlier this year. Fedor is a great example of staying too long and tainting one’s legacy. GSP is seemingly smarter than that and will probably stay out of MMA for the foreseeable future.

Dan Plunkett: FACT Georges got out of the sport as soon as things started taking a turn for the worse. I thought his calculations were likely off when he decided to return this year at 36 years old and following a second ACL tear. It was a risk, but it paid off as St-Pierre padded his resume with another remarkable achievement. If St-Pierre had held onto the middleweight championship rather than vacating it, he would have lost some support for growing the logjam at the top of the division as he attempts to clear up his illness. Even if he hadn’t fallen ill, St-Pierre would be facing a tremendous challenge from Robert Whittaker, likely one in which his age would show. The best move St-Pierre could have made was to bow out of the middleweight division. He did that. Now let’s see what his next move is.


You wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC allowed Conor McGregor to box Manny Pacquiao considering his asking price to return to the octagon may be above UFC standards.

Mark Radulich: FACT If the UFC can ultimately make more money off of McGregor’s boxing matches than they can off of his MMA fights, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t let him box Pacquiao. Much like the WWE, the UFC is less about competitive fights and more about creating attractions. At the end of the day, the UFC is always going to make attractions that conceivably will draw the most money. If there’s more money in McGregor vs Pacquiao than there is in say, McGregor vs Tony Ferguson, then that’s what they’ll do.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION I’ll be moderately surprised if McGregor fights Manny Pacquiao next. It would be very easy for the UFC to determine McGregor is asking for too much and just take a cut off the top of a McGregor-Pacquiao match. But while McGregor’s asking rate is above current UFC standards, the UFC is capable of tailoring new standards specifically for their megastar. Why would UFC sell McGregor’s fights for $60 a pop on pay-per-view when they could raise the bar to $80 and take in significantly more money? If ticket receipts for McGregor’s fights total $10 million, why should he be bound to the same UFC pay standards as fighters drawing $3 million gates?

The UFC can’t simply shrug off stars that become too big for their standard model. The past dozen years are filled with fighters gradually outgrowing UFC’s standard pay model, and UFC adjusted the models accordingly. This case is much more striking since McGregor made roughly ten times more fighting Mayweather than any fighter has made for any single fight in UFC history, but there are still ways to adjust. The reality of McGregor as a boxer is that he is not a boxer. If he continues that path, his results will reflect that reality, and there will be increasingly less interest in the McGregor boxing experiment. McGregor can do that, take the money, and run, but I think the UFC can make a adjustments to handsomely compensate McGregor to fight in an arena in which he’s likely to take less damage.


Kelvin Gastelum is right to be upset over Luke Rockhold getting the next title shot at Robert Whittaker because he is more deserving of the title fight than is Rockhold.

Mark Radulich: FACT Gastelum has been more active than Rockhold has this year and last year. He also has a recent win over Bisping where Rockhold doesn’t. White getting a win over David Branch is nice Luke Rockhold, I’m not sure how that compares to wins over Michael Bisping, Tim Kennedy and Johnny Hendricks in about the same time frame. Gastelum has every right to feel slighted.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION Kelvin Gastelum lost to Chris Weidman five months ago and has one win over a top middleweight. He has no case over Rockhold.


SWITCH!

Brian Ortega’s performance and victory over Cub Swanson were impressive enough to say he deserves the next shot at Max Holloway, regardless of whether Frankie Edgar will be ready soon enough to return.

Dan Plunkett: FICTION Brian Ortega is worthy of a shot at Max Holloway, but I wouldn’t put him in the slot over Frankie Edgar just yet. Yes, Ortega is undefeated and can pose problems for Holloway. However, Edgar has been beating the best fighters in the sport for the past eight years. In addition to being one of the best fighters in MMA history, he’s one of the toughest—in twenty-eight bouts, most of them as an undersized lightweight, Edgar has never been finished. Edgar’s most recent win is not as impressive as Ortega’s most recent win.

However, my case for Edgar has three main points. First, Edgar’s past five wins (against Cub Swanson, Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, Jeremy Stephens, and Yair Rodriguez, with a loss to Jose Aldo thrown in the middle) are far stronger than Ortega’s recent wins. Second, if Max Holloway is going to reign over this division, he needs to clear out the old guard. Edgar is the strongest fighter of that guard that Holloway has yet to face, and presents an interesting style challenge for the young champion. Third, Ortega will only benefit from the additional time to develop as he waits for a title shot, while Edgar’s window is closing at 36 years old. I’d match rather see the challenge a 36-year-old Edgar poses to Holloway than a 37-year-old Edgar.

Mark Radulich: FACT Brian Ortega is 13 – 0 (with one NC that he originally won by submission). Frankie Edgar has had 2 cracks at the FW title and lost both times with the most recent attempt being last year. How is this even a question? I’m guessing the thinking here is that Frankie is a known entity and (maybe) a draw but still; Ortega has more than done enough to earn a shot at the title.


At 34-years-of-age, 33 fights under his belt, and 13-years as a professional mixed martial artist, Cub Swanson is no-longer a title contender and is now the gatekeeper, for the time being, of the top five or six of the featherweight division.

Dan Plunkett: FACT It could be a bit premature to call Swanson out of title contention, but there is a clear divider when you see his record. He loses to the very best in the division: Aldo, Mendes, Lamas, Edgar, Holloway, and Ortega are the only fighters to beat Swanson in the past ten years (Swanson’s loss to Jens Pulver occurred ten years ago yesterday). He’s beaten fighters that were close to that elite level at one time or another (Oliveira, Poirier, Stephens, and the Korean Superboy), but he’s always fallen short against the next level. At 34 years old, it’s fair to think Cub’s window is closing, so it’s reasonable to say he’s a gatekeeper to the very top level of the division.

Mark Radulich: FACT At 34 years old with 33 fights, many of them hard-fought, Swanson is probably nearing the end of his career. He still puts on some entertaining contests so he’s worth keeping around for the near future but the writing is on the wall. Swanson should take as many Fight Night main events or main card fights as the UFC is willing to book him in and bank as much as he can before he has to retire.


Floyd Mayweather Jr. claiming too have “carried” Conor McGregor during their boxing bout is frivolous talk intended only at promoting Mayweather.

Dan Plunkett: FACT This is kind of a “faction” statement. Yes, Floyd Mayweather’s slow start in the fight was calculated. Some of it was playing smart and not leaving major openings for a fresh McGregor. Another part of it was to drag the fight out a bit and make people happy they paid to see the bout. In the opening three rounds, Mayweather threw six, ten, and twelve punches, respectively. In the next round, he threw thirty-one punches. Fast forward to the ninth round, in which he threw sixty-eight punches. There is no question that Mayweather purposely waited a few rounds to get going.

At the same time, McGregor performed well above expectations and extended the fight on his own merit. This fact is not mutually exclusive from the idea that Mayweather wasn’t fighting to beat his opponent every second of every round. If Mayweather’s plan had worked to perfection, McGregor would not have seen the tenth round.

Mark Radulich: FICTION It ain’t bragging if you back it up. The fact of the matter is that Mayweather started that fight giving McGregor ample opportunity to look good and give the people an entertaining first few rounds. Compare his performance in this fight vs his performance against Pacquiao. In the Pacquiao fight he fought his traditional style of relying on his speed and technique to wear out a stronger, harder puncher. He didn’t stand toe-to-toe with Pacquiao, choosing to instead make Manny chase him. Against McGregor he tossed that strategy out of the window and stood in front of McGregor, taking many of his best shots. He absolutely carried McGregor because he’s the better boxer.


So who won? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Tuesday 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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