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Mayweather vs McGregor: Predictions from the RealSport MMA team

The Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor showdown is nearly here. The RealSport MMA writers share their thoughts on the fight and the expected outcome.

We’re now just two days away from ‘The Money Fight.’

Conor McGregor, the UFC’s biggest superstar, will stand toe-to-toe with the greatest boxer of our generation, Floyd Mayweather on August 26.

A matchup between McGregor and Mayweather had always been ridiculed. It was thought to be lunacy, unrealistic and a disgrace to boxing. It wasn’t all that long ago when we were discussing whether the fight would happen or not.

Now, instead, we are debating who is going to win the fight. What’s even more incredible is that there are millions of people out there who believe that McGregor can be the first man to defeat Mayweather. Two of our RealSport MMA writers are all-in on “The Notorious” – you can read their thoughts below.

Jake Nichols

McGregor defeating Mayweather should be one of the strangest and most unimaginable outcomes in all of sport. Right now, however, the odds don't reflect it as such.

I get it. It's difficult to think rationally when McGregor is competing. His self-belief is contagious.

When you mix Conor's belief with the uncertainties of this fight, backing "The Notorious" is not just a respectable opinion, it seems to be the popular one.

On fight night, it's hard to imagine Floyd having the same success in the clinch as he has in the past. Conor's southpaw stance also diminishes Floyd's reliable shoulder roll. There are a number of ways that Conor can try to confuse and overwhelm Floyd Mayweather, but Floyd has been facing this for his entire career.

No one wants to bet on Mayweather and everyone wants to bet on  McGregor. I'm doing the opposite. Floyd is 49-0 for a reason. He's a genius of the boxing ring; cool, calm and composed. He'll carry McGregor through the latter stages of the fight to make this one last the distance.

Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

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Sirius Brown

On paper, this fight is a wash.

This is a boxing match, and Mayweather is a boxer. Not just a boxer, but an undefeated boxer who is the greatest defensive specialist of his generation. McGregor is a phenomenal athlete, but is a champion in mixed martial arts. Floyd carries advantages in experience, technique, defense, and endurance.

But the last minute changes of referee and gloves have made it much closer than people realise.

Kenny Bayless’s dismissal was a sign that Conor’s camp understandably want Floyd’s clinching time to be monitored closely. Eight-ounce gloves don’t just favour the power puncher but offer less surface area and mass to block and absorb incoming blows. These are both changes that work against a defensive fighter. So if Floyd can’t clinch or block like he would normally, his defensive options are limited to slipping and running.

That’s not a terrible thing; Floyd’s greatest defence is his perfect spacing and head movement. But it’s not difficult to see why taking away two critical defensive tools away from a retired, 40-year old defensive specialist fighting a bigger man in his prime drastically alters the flow of the fight. If Floyd gets rattled by a punch, like he has in the past, his options to recover will be extremely limited.

Floyd is still the rightful favourite in this fight, but the moment Conor lands a clean left cross the fight will become 50/50. Keep your eyes peeled.

Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

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Nicolas Vera

I'm really torn here. My heart is saying McGregor but my brain says Mayweather. 

I see Conor going out there trying to prove a point and throwing heavy shots but by the fifth or sixth round he'll gas out and Floyd will set his traps.

On the flipside, there's a chance that Conor lands a freak first round knockout before Mayweather gets a chance to settle. You honestly never know in the fight game.

If I had to bet the house on it, I'd say Mayweather by Majority Decision 116 - 112. 

Floyd Mayweather by Majority Decision

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Adam LeBarr

It's hard to go against Mayweather in this one but anything can happen within a fraction of a second. With 30 years of experience in boxing, Mayweather has a huge edge in this fight. 

With eight-ounce gloves and a much younger opponent, there are difficult obstacles for Floyd to overcome.

Floyd Mayweather via TKO - Round 10

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Shane Saunders

As a native Irishman, I think it's fairly obvious who I'm backing in this fight. 

It will all boil down to those first few minutes. If Conor can keep his focus and not swing too wildly, there's a good chance he can take Floyd into the deeper rounds and pick off some shots. Despite the talk of his age, Floyd has one of the quickest counter jabs in boxing and Conor will need his wits about him. 

It may be a clash of styles but this is what makes this fight so enthralling. My heart says Conor but my head lies with Floyd. There'll be plenty of hoarse shouting at 6 am.

Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

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Ian Holland

McGregor is clearly the smartest man in combat sports. A club level boxer taking on an undefeated all-time great who just happens to be the biggest draw in boxing in the last decade. Not bad for someone only four years removed from being on unemployment benefit. 

The whole fight has been based, to this point, on bluster and preamble in order to generate buys, and there has been very little to convince me of it being a competitive athletic contest under boxing rules. We have reached peak money fight. It may be the biggest drawing silly fight of all time.

If I’m to make a prediction, Floyd by a low output decision. Look for Floyd’s conservative striking, good defence, and clinch game to stifle McGregor over 12 rounds. In the aftermath, McGregor will laugh himself all the way to the bank.

Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

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The Sportsnista

This event is as much about instincts as it is about preparation. McGregor isn't just an unfamiliar opponent to Mayweather, zero true boxing tape exists on him, period. Conversely, Paulie Malignaggi isn't Mayweather. Neither is any other sparring partner the McGregor camp could line up. Neither fighter could even come close to simulating an experience with the other in the boxing ring. 

When it comes down to the event, Mayweather's boxing instincts, how his body naturally reacts as a result of more than 30 years in the sport, will be more of a deciding factor in this match. Conor will come out like a house on fire and apply early pressure to test the mettle of the aging superstar Mayweather. It will be a problem. Not so much for Mayweather, but for McGregor in later rounds. Ultimately, the patience and boxing experience will prevail in a unanimous decision for Mayweather. It will be a complete shut-out.

Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision

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David Murphy

Mayweather vs McGregor is, on paper, the most straightforward pick in combat sports history. But fights aren't fought on paper.

Since day one, Conor has shocked the world. In his MMA debut, his father commented on how stunned he was at his ability inside the cage. When he became the first Irishman to win in the UFC, people felt he was a flash in the pan. But the world was forced to recognize his greatness when he defeated pound-for-pound king Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in Las Vegas.

Therefore, I find it extremely difficult to pick against 'Mystic Mac' when I see the belief he has in himself, and the rapid progression he has made over the last few months.
Yet, the man he is facing has proven to be unbeatable. At 49-0, Mayweather is yet to meet his match. In his illustrious career, the American has dominated some of the best boxers of our time, such as Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez and Ricky Hatton.

This record makes my prediction quite clear; I cannot see a scenario in which Floyd comes out of Saturday night's 'money' fight without a dominant decision victory, or a late stoppage win. His defence is impenetrable, his speed unstoppable and his abilities undeniable. Mayweather represents the pinnacle of boxing and Saturday night will be the masterclass that cements his legacy as one of the greatest boxers to have ever lived.

Floyd Mayweather by Unanimous Decision or late stoppage

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Dimitar Marinov

August 26th, 2017 is truly a historic day. A few sports records will be broken that day, including the biggest payday ever made by an individual athlete. There is no argument that this event is one of the most anticipated events in the history of sport.

Whether you are a supporter of the event, whether you are cheering for Floyd or Conor, or whether you are a hater who is hiding behind his computer typing negative comments as an “assumed pro” with your Cheetos stained fingers, you know all of us will be watching! 

The downsizing in gloves to 8oz from 10oz will not be an issue for either fighter. I believe for a fight of this magnitude, Conor is well conditioned and he would not even have had a problem with the 10oz gloves. Floyd fought most of his career with 8oz gloves. Realistically, there are a few legitimate ways I see this fight unfolding. But, I like surprises! 

It is a once in a lifetime fight, so I am bold with my prediction. Floyd will out work Conor for up to five or six rounds, but will not stun him. I believe Mayweather was telling the truth when he said he will be offensive against McGregor. And that will be his downfall – because of his offensive approach, one of his hands will give out and will break. McGregor will capitalize on it and will knockout Mayweather somewhere between the fifth and seventh round, making him the biggest sports superstar in the world today.

Conor McGregor via KO - (Between rounds 5 and 7)

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Chris Sermeno

It's all in the name, "The Money Fight". 

There is no bigger match up in the world that would create as much hype and interest as this, but also poses questions as to the state of modern boxing. 

In terms of the fight, Floyd is an expert in adjusting his style mid-fight, and Conor NEEDS to bring all of his unpredictability to the bout. I'm Team McGregor for this one, and it's going to either be a decision by Mayweather, or a knockout by McGregor within the first six rounds. Any other result will be extremely unlikely but entertaining as hell.

Conor McGregor via KO - Round 6

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  1. Who wins 'The Money Fight'?

    1. Floyd Mayweather
    2. Conor McGregor
    56 votes
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Jake Nichols

Jake is RealSport's MMA editor. Based in South East Asia, Jake provides comprehensive coverage of ONE Championship while also sharing his thoughts on UFC and Bellator.

Mayweather vs McGregor: Predictions from the RealSport MMA team

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