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Mayweather vs. McGregor Predictions & Fighting Style Comparisons
After months of speculation, two of the most accomplished fighters clash when Floyd Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) takes on MMA star Conor McGregor (21-3, 18 KOs, 1 submission in MMA) in a Super Welterweight (154 pounds) boxing match on August 26 in Las Vegas. This will be a unique event in combat sports, as it pairs the top fighters from different sports.
Mayweather retired after beating Andre Berto in September 12, 2015 but being inactive for almost two years should not be a concern for a boxer of his caliber, as he's been effective coming off layoffs before. Mayweather's inactivity is not a bigger problem than McGregor having no experience inside a boxing ring.
Boxing and MMA revolve around people punching each other in the face but the differences between these sports are numerous and significant.
MMA incorporates a wide array of martial arts and arm and hand strikes. The fighters can also use boxing, Muay Thai or kickboxing skills, modified for MMA and the fights can last 3 or 5, 5-minute rounds. MMA fighters can win via knockout, technical knockout, points or using submissions. MMA also involves leg kicks, takedowns, ground control and submissions. Any kind of punches, elbows, knee strikes and kicks are allowed in MMA and you can grab the opponent, throw him on the floor and strike him on the ground. Holds, joint locks and chokes are also allowed.
Boxing on the other hand uses a variety of punches in order to knock out your opponent or win on points (punching below the waist, punching a downed opponent, grabbing the opponent to throw him on the floor and backfisting or slapping are not allowed). Boxing rounds last approximately 3 minutes and there can be anywhere from 6 to 12 rounds in a fight. A boxing fight can finish earlier if someone is knocked out. If not, it can keep on going until the 12th round. In that case, the boxer with the highest score in points wins.
Another difference between MMA and boxing is that the gloves in MMA are much lighter (0.1 kg) and more flexible and they have exposed fingers to help fighters get takedowns and submissions. Boxing gloves are much heavier, they weigh between 0.3 and 0.5 kg and they're cushioned to give protection while punching.
The Mayweather vs. McGregor fight will happen under boxing rules, so Mayweather has a significant advantage over McGregor. Mayweather is a boxer, he doesn't have to learn anything from scratch but it will be interesting to see if McGregor can live up to the challenge. To me, this is the best time for him to challenge Mayweather. McGregor's left-hand can be seen as an equalizer against the 40-year-old Mayweather, who hasn't fought against many fighters with a great left, but there's a reason why Mayweather is 49-0, so don't think he doesn't know about McGregor's viable weapon against him and how to answer against it.
Still, don't underestimate McGregor, he's a two-division champion in the UFC, which means he's highly-capable and he's easily the UFC fighter around Mayweather's weight with the best chance to beat him. That said, aside from the difference in boxing skills, Mayweather is dependable and he never gets tired. People focus on his speed and skills and he might trash-talk a lot, but he's as tough as they come.
Stamina will be the difference in this fight. In past UFC fights, McGregor's effectiveness has decreased when he doesn't knock out his opponent after the first round or two. That's been an issue for him in his own sport, so it's hard to see him having enough gas in a boxing ring, against one of the best of all-time.
A reputable sportsbook like BetOnline will offer odds for the fight, review them I'm betting on Mayweather here. McGregor can catch him cold but Mayweather has proven to be able to absorb punches, so it's hard to see McGregor surprising him, especially because it would have to happen in the first rounds because of his lack of stamina.