In 2017, Conor McGregor crossed over from his native sport of mixed martial arts in the UFC to fight the then 49-0 Floyd Mayweather Jr in a licensed boxing match.
It was a much-hyped event that had people rushing to the bookmakers to back any chance that the Irish UFC world champion could defeat the undefeated American.
The fight finished with Mayweather pacing his way to a composed victory over the exhausted McGregor in the tenth round. The media and advertising companies massively overhyped the event, but it did manage to peak the interests of sports fans not traditionally supporters of boxing or mixed martial arts.
In the first month of 2018, two sports superstars have crossed over. Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey made her debut in the WWE, and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has been trying out his football skills. The Jamaican speedster has been training with the Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa and is set to have a trial with Borussia Dortmund.
The crossover event into boxing was a cash-cow for Conor McGregor, and he took quite a beating, so there’s no wonder why he hasn’t stepped back into any combat sports just yet. In fact, his last legitimate fight was all the way back on 12th November 2016. Now his UFC division looks to be blocked off from him, so perhaps another familiar crossover is in the works.
McGregor may not get immediate title shot
Source: Fight Haven, via Twitter
— Fight Haven (@FightHaven) January 22, 2018
When it came to his first professional boxing match, Conor McGregor was – rightfully – the heavy underdog. But in the octagon, McGregor has been a heavy favourite to win almost all of his most recent fights, despite moving division.
In his last fight, against Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, McGregor didn’t even need two rounds to stand victorious in the fight that the bookies favoured him to win.
In the fast-moving world of the UFC, there’s now a newish, incredibly dangerous contender in the lightweight division. Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to fight Tony Ferguson on 7th April, and the Russian has already outlined his plans as the champion.
Nurmagomedov is heavily favoured to win the fight at 2/5, so if you check out these UFC free Betting offers, he’d be a good use of the offer. If, or more likely when, Nurmagomedov does win, he would certainly give McGregor a run for his money in the betting odds, if he even lets him fight.
‘The Eagle’ says that when he’s champion, he’ll fight those who have proven themselves to be real contenders in the division with win-streaks, rather than allow McGregor to suddenly get a title shot, again.
If McGregor and Nurmagomedov were to meet in the octagon, it would be a tough call as to who would come out on top, and the Russian would certainly be able to upset the odds.
Perhaps a return to the octagon isn’t on the cards
Source: World Boxing News, via Twitter
— World Boxing News (@WorldBoxingNews) January 31, 2018
McGregor made a huge amount of money from his boxing match and given his superstar status in the world of sport; other sports would certainly be willing to bring him in for a potential crossover.
Going to the WWE seems like the natural progression for McGregor, but perhaps going back to his sporting roots would be the way forward.
Conor McGregor played a lot of football as a younger man, deciding later to focus on mixed martial arts. Said to have been a good young player, potentially even a potential professional footballer,
McGregor’s high-level of athleticism and natural talent in the sport could see him crossover in a similar way that Usain Bolt has been trying. Like Usain Bolt, McGregor is also a Manchester United fan.
Right now, the Red Devils boast two players who did the opposite to McGregor and went from martial arts into professional football. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a black belt in taekwondo – often showing off the skills that he developed in the discipline while striking the ball acrobatically – and Chris Smalling was a young judo champion.
The most news that has been revealed about an upcoming fight for Conor McGregor is a video of Floyd Mayweather stepping into an octagon in a viral video. The hype has been about a comeback fight, but perhaps a crossover to football would be more lucrative knowing that he could walk back into the UFC whenever he wants.