Conor McGregor got finished by Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night.
That sentence could mean something far worse than it does. For most casual fans, the optics weren’t all that bad. That is partly down to low expectations. Competing under strict Marquess of Queensberry boxing rules meant that McGregor was always at a disadvantage to the greatest defensive boxer of a generation. Except for the most rabid, delusional McGregor lovers, most didn’t think he was likely to win.
As it turned out, he did much better than most expected. He never tasted the darkness of unconsciousness- never even hit the canvas. Floyd, even to the boxing commentators used to seeing him take a couple rounds to gauge his opponent, took longer than expected to get into gear, to the point where he was asked repeatedly whether he was feeling his age afterwards. He insisted that this was the gameplan- but also gave McGregor props for hanging in longer than expected. Until he gassed out at the end, McGregor didn’t look overwhelmed in rounds 4-9 either, keeping an uncharacteristically aggressive Floyd at bay with a surprisingly sharp jab, good footwork, and the occasional counter.
There are many narratives one can spin from the result, and for McGregor — whose star power is predicated on generating his own storylines — that’s the important thing. He will return to UFC a bigger star than ever … even off a loss.
He won’t return for at least two months, though, if he follows doctor’s orders. He is medically suspended until Oct. 26, 2017, with no contact [that means no sparring] until Oct. 11, 2017.
Many fighters disregard the doctor’s orders. McGregor himself has stated he feels ready to jump back into camp, possibly for a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz. [Making that interim title bout between Ferguson and Kevin Lee feel even more pointless than most interim belts]. No doubt he feels his boxing-centric fight camp with Mayweather has prepped him for what he can expect against the younger Diaz brother. First and foremost, McGregor is just interested in figuring out what went wrong.
Source: Andrew Pearson| MMA Mania