The trash talk between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather started over two years ago at this point, on Conan of all places, but like Ronda Rousey versus Floyd Mayweather, it seemed like a talking point. A fun hypothetical between fight fans. Like Mike Tyson vs. Chuck Liddell or Ali vs. Inoki (heh). Somehow in the midst of denying that the fight would actually get made, it got made, and now, even through a myriad of PPV provider issues and delays, it’s done. It’s over.
Floyd Mayweather got his first finish in years. The fight was so much better than expected. Mayweather said he “owed the fans” for the Pacquaio fight, and May also said McGregor was better than he thought he was, a tough competitor. The fans got their money’s worth tonight. It was an exciting fight. When it ended, the scores were were shockingly close.
Here’s how it went down.
McGregor walked out with both of his UFC belts to his usual music and an arena the filled up incredibly quickly. He was dressed head to toe in white and gold and looked completely at ease. Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather was dressed head to toe in a black and gold getup that involved a ski mask for some reason.
McGregor looked intense as Jimmy Lennon announced his name, while Floyd Mayweather was smiling and dancing. Loose. When the fighters came together, the ref only looked at McGregor as he told them the fight would be “clean” under “boxing rules only,” to the boos of the crowd.
McGregor came out fast as he pushed Mayweather against the ropes. McGregor looked calm and collected, looking for his heavy left-hand shot. Mayweather did NOT go toe to toe as he promised, and looked to be playing his usual game. Midway through the first round, McGregor put his hands behind his back and taunted Mayweather. He wanted him to come forward, but Mayweather would parry. Still, McGregor won round one. Especially with this uppercut.
Round two started the same way, with McGregor pushing Mayweather in the corner until a few light punches to the back of the head drew the criticism of the ref. Still, Mac moved forward, landing punches while May was slow, biding his time. Both men would land hard shots. It seemed like it was McGregor 2-0.
Round three opened Mac once again with Mac pushing Mayweather into the corner and then hitting Mayweather in the back of the head with a rabbit punch. The ref has warned him three times at this point. In the clinch, McGregor looks much bigger than Mayweather, and he’s landing jabs on Mayweather, who is counter-punching well. Another shot to the back of Mayweather’s head ends the third round.
Round four, once again, began with an aggressive McGregor who would again hit the back of Mayweather’s head. But a beautiful right hand by Mayweather visibly slowed McGregor. Mayweather was stepping forward and putting his foot on the gas now. As the end of the fourth came, McGregor’s mouth was wide open and Mayweather was getting aggressive. The momentum shift was coming.
Look at this brilliance:
Mayweather was looking fast in the fifth round, but McGregor was still able to land the jab. Still, this was unlike Floyd. He was constantly moving forward, walking down McGregor and through his punches. A shove by Mayweather ended the fifth.
For some reason, Floyd has been turning his back throughout the fight and was taking some wild shots by McGregor. As round six goes on, Mayweather is throwing hard shots at McGregor. This is not the usual Mayweather fight at all. He wants the finish. Hard combinations by Mayweather are being interrupted by McGregor who flashes a smile despite moving far slower than when the fight began. Chants of “Conor” ring out throughout the arena. Mayweather continues to land hard shots which are returned by McGregor, just not as successful.
Round seven has Mayweather landing heavy right hands, while not much on McGregor’s shots. Still, both men are extremely active. Some seriously heavy shots have McGregor reeling in the final minute of round seven, and Mayweather smells blood. Not only is his defense brilliant (especially to the body) but he’s landing just about everything.
Round 8 begins with Floyd Mayweather turning his back once again, and Conor takes advantage to the frustration of everyone involved. McGregor is digging deep, taking shots but giving them again. Mayweather wants the finish though, and he’s throwing heavy hands while moving forward. The hype actually came true in this sense. Who knew that Mayweather was actually telling the truth. Conor is trying to clinch, and his body language isn’t great, but he’s still landing shots.
A seemingly legal body shot hurts Mayweather but Conor seems unsure how to finish, grabbing Mayweather in a big brother type of hold. Still, Mayweather lands right back. McGregor has his hands down and he’s gassed as hell. Mayweather hurts Conor and gets him on the ropes but Conor almost looks like he’s going for a takedown. McGregor is fading. His hands are down, and Floyd looks utterly fresh. McGregor clinches, but we know it looks like a takedown. That could’ve been a 10-8 for Mayweather.
As round ten opens, Mayweather knows it’s almost over, and moves in, takes multiple unprotected shots, and the ref calls it much to McGregor’s anger.
Here’s the ending.
Was it early? Or a good stoppage?
After the fight, McGregor laughed saying he “wasn’t powerful, just composed.”