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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Will Mayweather vs. McGregor Finally Happen in 2017?

January 19, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Conor 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 bring you another edition of the fact and the fiction swirling through the fabulous yet enigmatic world we call professional mixed martial arts. But, before we move onto this week, I want to thank each one of you who voted and left comments last week. It is appreciated and encouraged. Last week, Mark Radulich and Scott Kuczkowski tangled over Cody Garbrandt looking at potential money fights, Amanda Nunes winning the UFC women’s featherweight strap, and the recent booking of “Jacare” Souza in addition to other subjects. Mark charged head first and never took his foot off the pedal as jabbed and landed combinations to pick up the victory over Scott. Congratulations Mark on your 19-to-8 victory and thank you both for your efforts and contributions. It is appreciated!

This week, “The Vile One,” that’s right, Jeffrey Harris will try to hand Dino Zee his first defeat. This should be an epic battle as Harris will look to crawl inside Dino’s head as they dive into subjects like Conor McGregor finally meeting Floyd Mayweather in 2017, Cat Zingano’s opinion of Amanda Nunes’ post-fight behavior after UFC 207, Fabricio Werdum rematching Junior dos Santos, and much more! Head to the kitchen and grab some grub and make yourself comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Shall we proceed…

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris
Contributor, Various 411 Zones
2-2-2

VS

BLUE CORNER
Dino “Salad Bar” Zee
Contributor, 411 Wrestling Zone
5-0-0


All signs indicate Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will finally fight—in a boxing match—in 2017.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I’m simply not ready to call fact on this yet. For starters, it seems both Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are in very different places on what they think they should earn. Then there is the factor of Dana White and the UFC probably having some sort of promotional involvement. I just don’t think it will happen because of egos and all the conjecture. Even if I’m wrong, I’ve never understood the penchant for matching up a top MMA fighter with a boxer in a boxing fight. My feeling is this, a good boxer would beat the MMA fighter in a boxing fight. An experienced MMA fighter would beat the boxer in an MMA fight; for various reasons. I believe if McGregor and Mayweather fought, it’s an easy win for Mayweather. Now based on what I read, McGregor does have some youth boxing experience, but it’s not the same as a prime, undefeated boxer like Mayweather. MMA is just too different. MMA boxing is not the same as professional boxing. I truly believe if McGregor vs. Mayweather did happen, McGregor would get embarrassed badly. That’s one reason I believe the fight should never happen. Then we will have all the boxing fans coming out and going “boxing’s the real sport, MMA sucks, it always sucked, blah blah blah.” McGregor is an MMA fighter. He should stick with MMA. The other hang up is the money split. Mayweather is looking for $100 million. White tried to put that $25 million figure out there, which is way too low for a boxing star like Mayweather. But then Mayweather only wants McGregor to get $15 million, which makes no sense because McGregor is a big star and will draw an equal amount of interest to the fight, especially overseas. But look at this: Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally fought in 2015. That’s about five to six years after the time they really should’ve fought in boxing. Egos, bickering and disagreements on payouts was the cause of the fight getting put off for too long. I think it would be the same here. All the aforementioned factors will prevent the fight from happening.

Dino Zee: FICTION All signs certainly point to the parties all being into the idea, but Floyd’s ridiculously high asking price is going to keep this thing grounded for a long time, probably long enough that this fight taking place in 2017 is quite the pipe dream. And we can blame all we want as to why this fight won’t happen – Conor’s contract, Floyd not really wanting to fight, etc – but the bottom line is, if the money is right, it’ll get made. And to this point, the money, for Floyd, isn’t right. Conor can get all the licenses he wants, and Dana can make all the offers he wants, but until Floyd hears the proper amount offered, this fight will stay in the same position of “close to being made” that it has always been, which is not very close at all.


With that said, the last thing we want is a fight between McGregor and Mayweather as it would tie up the lightweight division and McGregor’s MMA career, in general.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT This is an easy fact for me. It’s time to get Conor McGregor back in the Octagon and fighting these other type of lightweights. If he loses the belt, then let him go off and have his experiment with Mayweather. McGregor is the lightweight champion, and that’s the belt he should be defending. Is McGregor the biggest active star in the sport right now? Yes, but there are still a line of contenders he should still have to fight. If he isn’t fighting until the summer at the earliest or even longer, his next fight should be at lightweight. It’s already the most stacked and competitive division in MMA, and it’s time to have more title fights instead of interim title fights and meaningless super-fights.

Dino Zee: FICTION I’m not sure whether I want this fight or not. I feel like, if it was announced, I’d be climbing over people to give them my money. But that’s more about witnessing the spectacle live than it does with any deep desire to find out who the better fighter in a certain set of rules is between Floyd and Conor. So, to say that it’s the “last thing” I want is a bit false. On top of that, my reasons for wanting / not wanting this fight have literally nothing to do with Conor and holding up divisions. It’s 2017. We’ve seen Conor plug up divisions. It’s not a thing that tops my list of reasons why he shouldn’t do something anymore.


With Stefan Struve out of his bout with Junior dos Santos, it’s time for Fabricio Werdum to step up and rematch the former UFC heavyweight champ.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION Honestly, I say hang that. Right now, just go ahead and book Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic for the title. JDS is the last man in the UFC to hold a win over Stipe Miocic. It was a tough fight and very close. That would be a good rematch. JDS actually had a competitive fight with Miocic, and their boxing matches up very well. It’s like people forgot Werdum got smashed in the first round by Miocic. It wasn’t a close decision. It wasn’t a split decision, or a controversial finish. Werdum got slept in the first round. Waiting around or fighting someone else in line is not going to be so terrible. JDS vs. Miocic for the title is the fight that I want to see, and it’s the one that should happen. JDS holds the last win over the current champ, and I’m sure Miocic wants that win back badly, especially, with how close their first fight was.

Dino Zee: FACT Yeah, that sounds good to me. Fabricio has spoken about wanting this rematch for a while, and with the Cain fight falling through for him, taking the fight with Junior would appear to be his best road for another shot at the title. If Fabricio doesn’t do all he can to get this spot, then it speaks to just how badly he truly wants that rematch (either the one for the title, or the one with Junior). This one seems pretty easy to me, and I don’t see the need to give 5 paragraphs when they’ll all say “Yes, he should take this fight with JDS.”


SWITCH!

Invicta interim Featherweight Champion Megan Anderson’s next fight should be against the winner of Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie for the UFC Featherweight Title.

Dino Zee: FACT I actually don’t know much about Invicta (OH MY GOD, HOW DO YOU HAVE SOMEONE IN FACT OR FICTION WHO DOESN’T KNOW ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE!!!), but this seems to be, at face value, the smartest way to go about establishing this division. Since we’re starting it off with a title fight between someone on a 2 fight skid, and someone who hadn’t really garnered any title talk, perhaps having the winner of said fight take on another Featherweight Champion afterwards is a good idea.

Hell, didn’t we just see this done (albeit in a slightly different manner) with Mighty Mouse at the Flyweights? And didn’t it make for an entertaining fight? Yeah, this seems to be the easiest route towards making this title seem like something besides the “Not Cyborg Santos” award winner.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I think it’s too premature to set up that match-up just yet. Now obviously, if UFC is moving forward with women’s featherweight, it probably makes sense that they’d want to acquire the female featherweight fighters in Invicta. First, I think we have to see how Holm vs. De Randamie plays out. You shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch because there could be something there that calls for a rematch. Then, Nunes has already made the claim of wanting to challenge the winner. Now, I think Nunes has some good up and coming contenders at bantamweight. However, UFC still might consider giving her the title shot. Now, I might feel differently after the title fight happens. Let’s see how UFC 208 pans out, and then my answer very well could be Megan Anderson gets the next shot. That said, she did a good job calling out her shot at least on the last Invicta FC card after she demolished Charmaine Tweet.


Mark Hunt surprisingly has a solid lawsuit against Brock Lesnar and the UFC; good enough to actually win.

Dino Zee: FACT Again, I’m not a lawyer. I will never pretend to be one. That said, from what I’ve read, the part that appears to be the strongest point of contention for him would be the part where UFC basically allowed Brock to ignore the returning fighter rule, where they were able to rush him through all drug testing protocol because “It’s UFC 200, guys! We need a big name there!”

That, to me, is the biggest part for Hunt to lean on – that UFC was basically complicit in allowing a drugged up fighter to compete at worst, and at best, did their best to not find out anything bad.

Again, because I can’t stress this enough, NOT a lawyer. Could be totally wrong here. Still don’t really think Hunt’s going to win the suit, but the question asks not if I think he’ll win, but rather, whether I think he has a solid enough lawsuit to win. On that count, I do agree that he has a decently strong suit. The UFC didn’t cover their bases, and almost actively tried to avoid doing so. That’s all bad.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION Based on what I’ve read about the lawsuit, no he doesn’t. Now, I read reports from FOX Sports and ESPN, and it doesn’t seem like an open and shut case for Hunt to win. Now that could change if it gets into the discovery phase. There’s also that issue of Hunt proudly proclaiming before the fight to the media, “I don’t care if you’re cheating or not. I’ll punch your face in. That’s all I’ve got.” Mark Hunt started his MMA career in Pride FC. Back at that time, there was no regulation and no drug testing program. In the US, UFC is regulated by both the state athletic commissions, and has a drug testing program overseen by the US Anti-Doping Agency. Just because Hunt is ticked off about how this all went down doesn’t mean he’s right. Hunt never complained or bemoaned lost wages when he faced known cheaters in Pride FC. Case in point, Josh Barnett. Hunt’s loss to Lesnar was overturned. Lesnar was fined and suspended. Now, maybe it’s unfair the fines and suspensions for Lesnar weren’t high enough. But Lesnar’s suspension was the maximum penalty for what he tested positive for. As for the money, there’s no law or contract clause that says Hunt is entitled to a bigger piece of the pie if a fighter cheats. Also, no commission or another opponent would agree to take away a fighter’s entire purse if they were to fail a drug test. For one thing, fighters like to constantly contest their failed drug tests and claim innocence anyway. While this is how I’m reading the situation, I fully acknowledge that things could turn out differently. If Hunt’s legal effort is successful, it could set a precedent to get contracts or penalties and sanctions changed in the sport. That wouldn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. But, Hunt is basically on his part going to have to prove the UFC knew Lesnar was cheating or that he was going to cheat. I don’t see that happening.


Cat Zingano is over the line for labeling Amanda Nunes’ behavior after her victory over Ronda Rousey as disrespectful and such—it’s understanding Zingano feels protective of Rousey but Nunes deserved to celebrate as she did.

Dino Zee: FICTION If Ronda cut the interview Nunes did, everyone would be falling over themselves to talk about what a “mean” “bitch” Rousey is. I know this, because it happens all the time. As one of Ronda’s absolute biggest fans, let me state that I have ZERO problem with what Nunes said. Hell, she earned herself a new fan in me with that interview. But I’m not so forgetful that I don’t remember how anything Rousey did, if it wasn’t politely asking permission, was always written off by the talking heads as being the new worst thing they’ve ever seen, and to now label Zingano as being “over the line” for saying about Nunes what most have said about Rousey, is just more of the same “it’s okay if anyone but Ronda does it” bullshit line of thought many MMA fans hold true.

Cat’s totally in her right to say what she said, and only the biggest hater of Ronda Rousey would have a problem with anything she said.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT A part of me feels Cat Zingano is angling to get her name out there to get a rematch with Nunes. Just remember, Zingano was the last person to beat Amanda Nunes. Not only that, Zingano finished her. However, Zingano didn’t have any success against Ronda Rousey, unlike Nunes. I don’t really find anything Nunes did toward Rousey disrespectful. If she was disrespectful of anyone, it was Rousey’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan. Nowadays, some share the opinion that he is not deserving a heaping ton of respect as Rousey’s coach. I don’t have a problem with how Nunes celebrated. And let’s not forget, Ronda Rousey made a reputation of similar post-fight celebrations as well. Case in point, her fights with Miesha Tate and Bethe Correia. Now, those post-fight antics did get her quite a bit of ire from fans and were part of the reason she got so much anger after she did lose for the first time. That I can understand to a degree. But by comparison, I don’t really think Nunes did anything worse than Rousey did post-fight. It’s the fight game. Do you know what BJ Penn did once? After he knocked out Sean Sherk, he went over to the fallen Sherk, rubbed blood off of his face, rubbed it on his gloves, and then licked Sherk’s blood off of his gloves. This is something Penn would do fairly regularly in his fights. He would even tell his opponents he would do this. Penn’s a bit of an odd cat for one. I don’t really mind if fighters showboat a little after they win. They’ve just been in a fight inside a cage and came out the winner. Adrenaline is going to be running high. What Nunes did by comparison was minor. Zingano really has no reason to hate on her other than she should want to fight Nunes because she previously beat her and she has the title Zingano wants.


So who won? Did Dino finally suffer his first loss or was Jeffrey just another name for the bucket? 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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