Negotiations are believed to have taken place between the respective camps of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather about a potential clash between the two fighters in September 2016.
Although details are unclear about under what rules the bout would take place, it is thought that Mayweather would only compete if it was a boxing match, rather than MMA. If it did end up being a boxing bout, the five-division world champion will be a huge favourite with the bookmakers to come out on top, while the odds would flip on their head if it took place in MMA.
McGregor was set to face Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 200, however, after the Irishman announced his retirement from the sport, that rematch from their UFC 196 meeting was called off. The 27-year- old did then reverse his retirement decision but he is not allowed to feature on the card later this year. It now means the feature event will be light-heavyweight contest between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones with the latter at 1/3 in the UFC 200 odds to take the belt off the champion.
McGregor’s exit from UFC 200 makes him open to negotiations with any other organisation or person. A fight with Mayweather could break box office records as interest in the two men meeting has attracted a huge amount of interest around the world.
Mayweather has not been seen in a boxing ring since he retired from the sport in September 2015 following his victory over Andre Berto to bring his record up to 49-0.
‘Money’ was involved in his biggest box office of his career when he faced Manny Pacquiao in Vegas. Mayweather won with a unanimous decision against the Philippine boxer in a match which failed to live up to the hype between two of the best pound-for- pound boxers on the planet.
Although some boxing pundits think Mayweather will eventually come out of retirement to bring his professional record up to 50 wins without defeat, it looks like he prefers the McGregor option which could earn him close to $100 million.
Other options for Mayweather include a match with unbeaten welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia, while Amir Khan’s name has been linked with the American over the last couple of years.
McGregor, on the other hand, suffered a surprising defeat earlier when he was beaten by Diaz at UFC 196, so he will be looking to bounce back from that disappointment in his next challenge. After beating Jose Aldo at UFC194 in just 13 seconds, the Irishman stepped up two weight divisions to face Diaz. He started that contest well but was forced to tap when the American had a choke hold locked around his neck.
If a McGregor-Mayweather showdown does not come off, the former UFC star may head to Japan where Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara is keen to sign him as he believes the man from Ireland would be a huge star in Asia. MMA is very popular in Asia so there is potential for huge TV audiences with McGregor on board.