For many years there had been crossover from Olympic wrestling to the UFC, as well as WWE wrestlers chancing their arm in the octagon, but it was only when the best boxer of his generation invited Conor McGregor to exchange blows that the prospect of a spree of giant money spinning crossover bouts became a reality. Here is a list of some of the fights that could take place either in the boxing ring or the cage, which would have fans everywhere salivating.
Mayweather vs. McGregor II
The fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor on August 26th , 2017 was the second biggest pay-per-view attraction in sports history, only marginally losing out to the boxing bout fought by Mayweather and archrival Manny Pacquiao in May 2015. With many Irish and MMA fans pouring money on for McGregor to win, when the Irishman landed a big uppercut early in the fight, it seemed for all the world like a major shock would occur. However, as the rounds wore on the boxer walked his man down, tired him out and closed the show in the 10th round.
Many MMA fans felt cheated by the fact that their man had to enter Mayweather’s world without the American ever committing to return the favour, but one thing that is for certain is that all future crossover bouts will be measured against the success of this super fight, which captured the attention of millions. But will they do it all again? There are plans afoot that may see it happen, which the next section here will explore in more depth.
Pacquiao vs. McGregor
It was recently reported that a four-man mini-tournament could take place whereby Manny Pacquiao, Connor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather and Khabib Nurmagomedov all compete, with Pacquiao and McGregor due to meet in one of the semi-finals, and Mayweather and Nurmagomedov in the other.
This was made all the more possible when Filipino legend, Pacquiao, signed with the same sports management company as McGregor, meaning the likelihood of a series of crossover mega fights was on the cards. After the beatdown he ultimately received at the hands of Mayweather, it remains to be seen if the Irishman will willingly play the B-side and take to the boxing ring again, or whether the evergreen Pacman would be forced into the octagon.
Claressa Shields vs. Amanda Nunes
In recent times women’s combat sports have been taken to exciting new heights in both codes, with the likes of Holly Holm and Rhonda Rousey leading the charge in the UFC, and Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields doing the same for boxing.
With the purses for female fighters still paling in comparison to those earnt by their male counterparts, switching fighting styles may prove an irresistible urge for those fighters wanting to cash in. Shields has been strongly hinting that 2020 will be the year she makes her UFC bow, but let’s see if she has the ovaries to see her promise through.
Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou and/or Stipe Miocic
It’s wise never to take anything Tyson Fury says too seriously, seeing as he has a habit of contradicting himself as if by design. That said, The Gypsy King has been making loud noises that a UFC appearance may not be just a pipe dream, although he did temper that noise by saying he would have to avoid being taken to the floor, where his size and reach advantages could be turned against him by an experienced grappler.
He also proclaimed that if a UFC fighter were to enter his world between the ropes, the disparity in ability would be ten times worse than what was witnessed in the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight. In reality, the Shields vs. Nunes battle is the most likely to happen in the next twelve months, but money talks and if a US television network or Saudi Arabian prince suddenly decides they want to see a crossover fights that will linger long in the memory, more could follow suit.