Floyd Mayweather has been talking about the possibility of a UFC fight for months now, but no one has really been taking him all that seriously. But things are starting to take the same sheen of reality we saw when the McGregor vs. Mayweather boxing match went from speculation to signed and sealed.
“Is it possible that I come back? Yes, but if I do come back it has to be in the Octagon,” Mayweather said recently. “I spoke with my team. I spoke with Al Haymon, Al says no. But I spoke with Showtime, I spoke with CBS. If we can get together with Dana White and the UFC to make a mega fight happen, one fight, it could be against Conor McGregor, we don’t know … Conor McGregor has other things to deal with. Me, I can do what I want, when I want, how I want to.”
UFC president Dana White went so far as to tell the press he thinks it’s going to happen.
“There’s a reason he’s even talking about it: because the money is right,” White told FOX Sports. “It’s going to happen, I’m very confident of that. I heard, I got a curveball a minute ago, they told me the slimy little weasel [Showtime Sports Stephen Espinoza], they want him involved in it. I don’t like that, so that’ll be a huge obstacle.”
Espinoza and White have been sparring back and forth in the press and over social media lately, with Espinoza calling out the UFC over the possibility of handing last second replacement Al Iaquinta the lightweight title if he had won at UFC 223, despite missing weight by .2 pounds.
With Mayweather clearly in negotiations with the UFC for a fight, you might go so far as to suspect Espinoza of trying to sabotage a deal with pointless smack talk like this. White certainly thinks things can’t come together if Espinoza and Showtime are involved.
“I can’t stomach that little slimy rat,” White said when asked how they were to work with during Mayweather vs. McGregor. “It was worse than I even expected. It’s funny because you hear all these rumors about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and how they couldn’t get the deal done. They Mayweather team was easy to work with, those guys are smart, they get it, we got a deal done very easily. But dealing with Showtime and Espinoza was worse than I expected.”