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When Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently mentioned he could land a massive payday by fighting in the Octagon, many felt that the cocky prize fighter was just spouting off in an effort to gain attention.
“I can come right back,” said the boxing champ. “If I want to, I can come right back to the UFC. I can go fight in the Octagon—I can go and do a three- or four-fight deal in the Octagon and make $1 billion.”
Even for a man who goes by the nickname “Money,” that’s a pretty hefty sum to command for a few fights in the cage. And while many may have scoffed at the inclination of a boxing legend stepping into the Octagon with no MMA background, UFC President Dana White was not one of them.
As a matter of fact, White recently confirmed that the UFC is considering a potential deal to get Mayweather to trade in his 8-oz boxing gloves for the standard 4-oz MMA gloves.
“We’re talking to Floyd about doing a UFC deal,” White told ESPN.com. “It’s real. He was talking about [boxing] Conor McGregor. Was that real? Have you heard Floyd talk about many things that aren’t real? He usually tips his hand when he’s in the media, and then that shit ends up happening.” In a further push to reiterate his “never say never” attitude, White went on to remind people of the once-seemingly-impossible matchup between McGregor and Mayweather in the boxing ring.
“We’re interested in doing something with Floyd. Everything is a realistic possibility. Mayweather vs. McGregor f***ing happened. Anything is possible,” White said.
Well, it certainly is when you throw a billion dollars at it.
Considering the amount of money generated by this past summer’s superfight in Las Vegas, that 10-figure amount isn’t all that far-fetched. According to Showtime, that showdown in the desert generated more than $600 million in revenue between ticket sales, sponsorship, and international distribution.
All those zeros on a paycheck may be all the incentive Mayweather needs to try his hand in the sport of mixed martial arts. But it still may not be enough to get him in the Octagon. Without getting the green light from the safety-minded athletic commission, there’s no way the undefeated boxing champion will be able to set foot in the cage as an MMA fighter—no matter how much money is thrown his way.