McGregor-Mayweather: A Sportsbook Reality?
Posted by: Charlie Smith
Online UFC betting fans who tuned in for this past weekend’s sportsbook action were treated to some brutal knock outs, vicious arm bars, and even a little controversy. But this past weekend didn’t just help advance some fighters careers and stardom; it helped further the narrative between Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather, and the UFC.
While Dana White, the UFC, and those who bet on MMA were idly watching UFC on Fox 23 unfold, ‘Notorious’ was hosting An Experience With Conor McGregor – an hour long live interview with the UFC Lightweight Champion, self-proclaimed Featherweight Champion, and longtime MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.
Helwani once did an hour-long piece on the Irishman when he was first gaining notoriety and McGregor found it apt to bring in Helwani once more, especially since McGregor has delivered on all his MMA promises.
In front of a sold-out crowd of 5,000 admiring fans in Manchester, England, McGregor proceeded to answer any questions sportsbook fans may have. Those who weren’t able to be in attendance at the event could have caught the live-stream online by forking over 4 Euros.
Since the event was a PPV, the online UFC betting community was expecting to be treated to a riveting spectacle and in the end ‘Notorious’ did not disappoint. Helwani did a great job of addressing the myriad of questions applicable to the UFC’s biggest star, but first began his inquisitive groundwork by asking McGregor to elaborate on the dual-belt dilemma between himself and the UFC.
Sportsbook fans who were looking forward to the bout between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson at UFC 206 will remember that McGregor was promptly stripped of his Featherweight belt once news broke of Cormier’s injury and subsequent scrapping of the fight.
The UFC put out a short press release explaining Cormier’s injury, Johnson’s decision to wait for Cormier’s return, the stripping of McGregor’s belt – which was given to Jose Aldo, and that the bout between Holloway and Pettis had been elevated to interim title status.
Following the news, the UFC became scrutinized for questionable decisions. Stripping McGregor of the belt and giving it to a man he KO’d in 13 seconds is uncompetitive to say the least. Furthermore it appeared that McGregor had been left in the dark and that the UFC didn’t even bother to contact their biggest star regarding his own stripping.
These were the issues Helwani first addressed this past online UFC betting weekend. McGregor went on to state that there were talks before the event, but not afterwards. Meaning that, leading up to UFC 205, White must’ve asked the Irishman which belt he’d feel more comfortable giving up. But the fact that the UFC didn’t contact McGregor afterwards just makes it seem like the organization is more concerned about controlling the Irishman, rather than letting him flourish.
Going forward, Helwani continued to press McGregor about the UFC, which fighters he was thinking about facing, and his thoughts on the belt situation. However, it wasn’t long before ‘Notorious’ made it clear that there’s only one thing on his mind; Mayweather.
“The next time I fight, I will step through the ropes with … gloves on,” McGregor confidently stated, while remarking that most of his possible UFC opponents (Aldo, Nate Diaz, Tony Fergus, Khabib Nurmagomedov) are biding their time.
“I got my eyes on one thing and that’s Floyd Mayweather.”
Dana White, when asked about the probability of this fight happening in the near future, compared it to the likelihood of himself starting as the backup quarterback for Tom Brady in this upcoming Super Bowl. White may not be onboard just yet, but McGregor already stated this weekend – citing the Ali Act – that he has no qualms about cutting out the UFC and dealing with Mayweather promotions directly, all the while announcing the birth of the newly founded McGregor promotions.