So you’re saying there’s a chance?
Early Tuesday in Europe there were a few rumors around the proposed fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor.
According to the Irish Sun, only a “third party holdup” stands in the way of the deal being finalized. That probably would be a reference to the UFC, which has McGregor under contract.
But in a text message to the Review-Journal, UFC president Dana White said that was “not true at all,” meaning the UFC wasn’t holding up the fight and that Mayweather and McGregor hadn’t agreed to terms.
Mayweather also was dismissive of the report, issuing a statement Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) February 14, 2017
“Although there have been several rumors circulating through the media suggesting that I will have an upcoming fight, I’d like to set that record straight and state that there has been no deals made on my behalf in regards to a bout with any fighter at this time period,” he wrote. “I am happily retired and enjoying my life. Rest assured that if any changes come about, I will be the first to let the world know!”
McGregor took credit for scaring Mayweather, posting on his Twitter account that his arrival late Monday in Las Vegas chased Mayweather back into retirement.
I am in Las Vegas. Floyd has retired on my arrival. pic.twitter.com/z9EcxBJaDr
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 15, 2017
The fighters have sparred in the media for more than a year. Both have thrown out lofty numbers in the nine-figure range for what it would take in terms of purse to make the fight happen.
White has been insistent that any potential deal would have to go through the UFC. He publicly offered both fighters $25 million plus a share of pay-per-view revenue last month.
McGregor said during an interview this month that streamed to a pay-per-view audience that he could make a deal without the UFC, though he acknowledged the process would be smoother with the organization’s involvement.
While it’s possible a deal could be struck without the UFC, it’s likely it would have to endure a lengthy court battle. White cautioned against such an approach at the time.
Will the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather Fight Happen?
“You know how I feel about Conor,” he said. “I’ve always shown Conor nothing but respect, and if he wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall.”
McGregor met with Nevada Athletic Commission officials Tuesday, successfully lobbying for a potential rehearing of a disciplinary complaint against him to be placed on the agenda for the next NAC meeting on March 22.
According to several reports, he also has plans to meet with Mayweather’s team. Sources close to the commission confirmed to the Review-Journal they were aware of negotiations between the two fighters.
McGregor was previously denied a boxing license by the commission because he has yet to fulfill his obligations from a penalty handed down for a news conference fracas before his fight against Nate Diaz in August. Part of that punishment was to make an anti-bullying video, though it is unclear if he will move forward on production in light of the news he might get a new hearing.
White did not respond to a text message about whether he planned to meet with McGregor while he was in Las Vegas. Mayweather told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith last weekend that a deal with McGregor was “getting very, very close.”
McGregor has a boxing license in California, which he acquired in December, but has never competed in a professional boxing match. He posted a video of a boxing sparring session on social media last week.