Quote: Conor McGregor Can’t Train Heart For Khabib Rematch

Conor McGregor suffered a huge loss in his Octagon return earlier this month (Sat. October 6, 2018). “The Notorious” was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fourth round via neck crank. It marked the second loss of McGregor’s UFC career and the biggest victory of Khabib’s. Since his defeat, the Irishman has remained adamant in his desires for an immediate rematch.

Given the lopsidedness of the contest, it’s hard to make the argument that such a fight makes any sense. UFC lightweight competitor Al Iaquinta, who has shared the Octagon with Khabib, recently commented on the matter during an appearance on “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show.” Iaquinta lost a unanimous decision to Khabib for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 223 in April.

You Can’t Train Heart

He knows what it’s like to deal with the grueling grappling dominance of “The Eagle.” Iaquinta said that McGregor fought well and has a lot a lot of skills. However, he could train for a rematch as much as he wants, but the one thing he can’t train is his heart (via MMA Mania):

“He fought good, definitely has a lot of skills. The rematch is not anything he can fix. You can train to defend takedowns, you can train to get back up, train for a million things. The one thing you can not train is to have heart when shit gets real tough,” Iaquinta said.

“When you feel like you are about to die, to figure out a way to live and not have the ref pull you off and save you. That is not going to get fixed if they fight in six months or a year or three years. That is still going to be there, that is not changing.

“His teammates aren’t going to help him in there and all of that money is not going to buy heart. So he can say whatever he wants, I sell real estate, I am number 11, but at the end of the day, he is definitely not tougher than me.”

By Jon Fuentes

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Conor McGregor Already Saying He Could Beat Mayweather in a Rematch

Written by Kevin Skiver at CBS Sports.com

After his loss to Floyd Mayweather in August, Conor McGregor isn’t just going to go away. McGregor said in an interview with BBC that he could beat Mayweather in a rematch, but he respects the 50-0 boxer’s decision to retire and didn’t want to make any guarantees regarding a potential rematch.

“If we had a rematch? I would correct it. And I would beat him,” McGregor said. “He’s retired, I’m not going to stay calling him out all the time — I’m going to leave him to it — if it happens, maybe it will, who knows? I would beat him. No doubt.”

McGregor also said that he hasn’t spoken to Mayweather since the fight.

“No, we haven’t spoken,” he said when asked. “I respect what [he’s done]. 50-0 — after the fact I was like … I accept [the loss] and just let him be. Maybe though. Who knows? We’ll see.”

However, the thought of a boxing rematch will have to wait, as McGregor has other titles to defend.

“The next [fight] will be a UFC bout,” he said. “It’ll be a mixed martial arts bout, 100 percent. I will defend my lightweight belt, and then boxing is certainly an interest of mine, no doubt.”

McGregor, of course, has a lot of things to juggle. He’s much more than a fighter at this point; he’s a personality, and he’s upholding a brand. The loss seems to have humbled him — albeit marginally — but he wouldn’t shirk away from a rematch. If Mayweather is listening, and Mayweather always seems to be listening, the idea is out there. Whether McGregor is “calling him out” or not, he certainly won’t shy away from talking about fighting the boxing champion again.

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Mayweather Outlasts McGregor in 10 Round Fight

Written by John Eligon at New York Times.com

By the look of things, retirement was treating Floyd Mayweather Jr. well.

He had a stable of boxers to promote, businesses, including a new strip club, to run, and a vast collection of luxury cars to enjoy. But there is a reason he embraces the nickname Money: His brand was built as much on personality and spectacle as on skills in the boxing ring.

So when a rivalry with the mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor was manufactured on social media, Mayweather, 40, was more than happy to end his two-year retirement and to collect one final, potentially record-breaking paycheck. And he did it in the style that virtually everyone expected.

After allowing McGregor — 29 and boxing professionally for the first time — to come at him early in the fight with awkward punches that were by turns slapping and sharp, Mayweather took control in the middle rounds. He never looked back. He reddened McGregor’s face with a barrage of right-handed bombs, leading the referee to stop the fight a little more than a minute into the 10th round on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. The victory left Mayweather with a 50-0 record as a boxer, and dropped McGregor’s mark to 0-1.

Not only did Mayweather set himself up for a handsome paycheck expected to exceed $200 million, but he also ended a career as a defensive master with a performance that was decidedly offensive. This was Mayweather exorcising the demons of his previous megafight, against Manny Pacquiao two years ago, which proved to be dull to its broad, mainstream audience.

“I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” he said in the ring after beating McGregor. “I owed them for the Pacquiao fight. I had to come straight ahead and give the fans a show. That’s what I gave them.”

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$1 Million Dollar Bets On Mayweather Skew Fight Odds

Written by David Purdum at ESPN.com

Multiple $1 million bets on Floyd Mayweather were among a flurry of big money that showed up in Las Vegas on Thursday, shaking up the odds for the undefeated boxing champion’s showdown with UFC star Conor McGregor.

The MGM sportsbook took a $1 million bet on Mayweather at minus-550 odds from a VIP casino guest, who wired in the money to the casino cage ahead of the wager, MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood told ESPN. The bet would net just under $182,000, if Mayweather prevails.

Shortly after, William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook reported taking a $1.2 million bet on Mayweather at minus-500 odds from a customer who paid cash. That bet would net $240,000.

After dipping below minus-500 last weekend, Mayweather’s odds were back up to minus-600 at multiple books Thursday.

“The price is skyrocketing right now,” Rood told ESPN on Thursday afternoon.

The two $1 million bets are the largest reported wagers on the fight to this point and were part of a surge of action on Mayweather around town Thursday. In addition to the $1 million bets, MGM and William Hill each took $300,000 bets on Mayweather earlier in the day.

The South Point sportsbook reported taking two approximately $200,000 bets on Mayweather within 15 minutes of each other. Those bets followed a $50,000 bet on McGregor at plus-450 that would net $225,000, if the Irishman pulls off the upset.

While the bigger money begins to appear on Mayweather, the books have a long way to go before evening out the action. William Hill said, even with Thursday’s $1.2 million bet on Mayweather, the book still faces a seven-figure liability on McGregor.

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Vegas Might Be Screwed If McGregor Wins

Written by Brandon Wise and Larry Hartstein at CBS Sports.com

While Floyd Mayweather will have plenty at stake for Saturday’s showdown with Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, gamblers have plenty of their own on the line. And if things break the wrong way, Las Vegas could be bleeding money come Sunday morning.

Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill, told CBS Sports that he’s taken 16 times more bets on McGregor and that his company is looking at “a good seven-figure loss” if the UFC star pulls the upset.

“I think there will be some late Mayweather money but not enough,” Bogdanovich said of the fight, which will air live on Showtime PPV. “We’re going to need Mayweather big, just not sure how big.

“I knew there would be money on McGregor — they bet him heavy in UFC — but never in a million years did I think it would be this kind of money.”

William Hill took a $150,000 bet on McGregor at +480, a wager that will pay a cool $720,000 if McGregor hands Mayweather his first loss. William Hill currently is dealing Mayweather at -500 and McGregor at +400.

MGM Resorts also is staring at a massive liability on McGregor, but other books have taken more balanced action.

The Westgate LV SuperBook took a few six-figure wagers on Mayweather, helping to offset the 95 percent of bets that have come in on McGregor.

“We’re certainly in need of Mayweather, but not like some of the other properties around,” SuperBook director Jay Kornegay said.

Kornegay expects the betting pattern to continue — small wagers from tourists and fans on McGregor, heavy hitters on Mayweather — “and I’m comfortable with that.”

As noted earlier Monday afternoon, while most of the action is on McGregor, most of the money is on Mayweather, according to CG Technology.

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Mayweather Give McGregor A Chance; Claims He Lost A Step

Written by ESPN Staff at ESPN.com

Floyd Mayweather spent much of his promotional tour last month mocking Conor McGregor’s skills and confidently predicting he would dominate their Aug. 26 boxing match, but he struck a more deferential tone Tuesday, acknowledging that he has “lost a step” and that McGregor, at least on paper, has the edge over him.

In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Mayweather, 40, pointed to McGregor’s advantages in size and age as reasons why the UFC fighter poses a legitimate challenge.

“He’s a lot younger. When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he’s taller, has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. He’s a lot younger, so youth is on his side,” Mayweather said of McGregor, who is 29. “And I’ve been off a couple of years. And I’m in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor.”

Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound boxing king and five-division world champion, is coming out of retirement for his clash with McGregor, a bout for which he is widely considered a heavy favorite.

He has not fought since his one-sided unanimous decision over Andre Berto in September 2015, which improved his record to 49-0. McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion, will be making his professional boxing debut against Mayweather.

Asked by Smith why he wasn’t brashly proclaiming McGregor has no chance in their fight, Mayweather said simply, “I’m older.

“I’m not the same fighter I was two years ago. I’m not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step,” he said. “A fighter like Andre Berto isn’t even supposed to go the distance with Floyd Mayweather, but remember, I was 38. It’s obvious I’m slipping a little bit to even let a fighter like that go the distance with me.

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McGregor Vs Mayweather To Be Shown In Movie Theaters For $40 Bucks

Written by Daniel Rapaport at SI.com

The Aug. 26 superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will be shown at select movie theaters across the country.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael first reported that Fathom Events and Mayweather Productions have collaborated to bring the broadcast to the big screen. Rafael reports that the broadcast shown in these theaters will be identical to one shown on Showtime, with one key difference: Showtime’s pay per view broadcast will cost $99.95 per television, while tickets to the theater showings will be significantly less, but still may run up to $40.

“The buzz that my fight against Conor McGregor is getting has been great already, so what better way to watch this larger than life event than on the big screen? We brought boxing back to movie theaters eight years ago and it was a huge success,” Mayweather said. “But this event is on a different level and I’m so glad we are giving fans another way to see all the action. Grab your popcorn because this is a fight no one will want to miss.”

Still, that $40 will surely turn away some potential viewers, as it makes more financial sense to split the fight with (two or more) friends than to pay $40 per seat at a theater.

Buzz for the fight between the 49-0 Mayweather and MMA star/boxing newcomer McGregor has been remarkable, thanks in part to a week-long promotional tour that put both fighters’ propensity for trash talk and self-aggrandizement on display.

Mayweather Claims McGregor’s Racist; McGregor Owns Real Estate In Floyd’s Head

Written by Brian Campbell at CBS Sports.com

For all of the fun Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor have had slinging insults at each other throughout their international tour, the overall tone seemed to turn negative on Thursday.

The two biggest stars in combat sports will meet in a pay-per-view boxing match on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. And with the third leg of a four-day, three-country media tour complete following a shamefully crass performance from both at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, much of the talk centered upon McGregor’s racially insensitive words.

McGregor (21-3 in MMA), a native of Ireland, was criticized for twice hurling the derogatory term “Dance for me, boy” at Mayweather during each of the first two stops on the tour this week. The controversy continued Wednesday when McGregor, during an interview which aired on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,”made an inappropriate remark about a group of African-American fighters during a reference to the movie “Rocky III.”

“Rocky III? I’m trying to remember which one was Rocky III,” McGregor said. “Was that the one in the celebrity gym? I can’t remember if that’s the one with the dancing monkeys or not.”

On Thursday, McGregor continued to irritate Mayweather, who had his teenage daughter Iyanna “Money Yaya” Mayweather by his side on stage, by getting into her face during an anti-Floyd rant and saying, “Sing it for me beautiful Yaya.”

After the press conference, Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) was asked whether he deemed McGregor’s comments as being racist.

“Disrespecting my daughter, disrespecting the mother of my daughter, disrespecting black women, calling black people monkeys — it’s totally disrespectful,” Mayweather said. “I have a diverse team, a diverse staff. When I was young, I may have said some things that I shouldn’t have said when I was young. But we live, we learn and you don’t say those things when you get to a certain age. It’s all about growth and maturity.”

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McGregor, Mayweather’s Press Conference Is A Spectacle

Written by Adam Reisinger at ESPN.com

After Conor McGregor’s bold fashion statement at Tuesday’s news conference promoting his Aug. 26 fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., there’s only one question on everyone’s mind: What will the reigning UFC lightweight champion wear on Wednesday?

McGregor showed up to the first stop on the media tour to promote the fight wearing what, from a distance, appeared to be a normal three-piece, pinstripe suit. But a close-up picture of the suit revealed that the pinstripes were made up of the phrase “F— You” repeated vertically over and over.

According to GQ, the suit was made by clothing label David August, and the company’s CEO, David August Heil, told the magazine, “Conor has been a longtime client and friend of ours, and we’re deeply honored to be a part of this epic, historic story as it unfolds. With a force in sports and fashion like Conor, it makes our job exciting to create unique looks that enhances his natural confidence and power. He’s a disrupter in everything he does, and we’re intoxicated by his passion and drive.”

Although opinion is mixed on whether pinstripes — traditional or McGregor’s custom treatment — are in style these days, GQ had high praise for McGregor’s suit in general, writing “The … suit actually fits the athlete really well, hitting his shoulders at the right point, tapering in at the torso and showing plenty of crisp white cuff.” McGregor wore a similar look, with normal pinstripes, at a news conference leading up to UFC 205 last year.

The Mayweather-McGregor press tour continues with stops in Toronto on Wednesday, Brooklyn on Thursday and London on Friday. Stay tuned to see if McGregor makes any more statements via his fashion choices or if he limits them to his mouth, which was also in epic and profane form during Tuesday’s news conference.

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McGregor-Mayweather Fight Date Planned

Written by Brett Okamoto at ESPN.com

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved a request submitted by Mayweather Promotions to host a boxing event on Aug. 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell told ESPN the commission approved the request as an item on its consent agenda on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, multiple sources told ESPN that Mayweather Promotions planned to retract its request for the Aug. 26 date, but the promotion informed NSAC officials late Tuesday evening it would not do so.

“I got a call [Tuesday] night from Mayweather Promotions that they wanted to be put back on the agenda, so I put them back on the agenda,” Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, told ESPN’s Dan Rafael. “They pulled the request but then decided to put it back on.”

According to multiple sources, Mayweather Promotions secured the date for a potential boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound king, and UFC star Conor McGregor. The two sides have not announced a finalized deal, however, and Mayweather Promotion’s request was for an unspecified event.

The approved request is for an event to be televised on Showtime, Mayweather’s broadcast partner. It is also for MGM Grand Garden Arena, which shares the same parent company as Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena.

McGregor and UFC president Dana White have previously announced they’ve come to terms on their side of what would be a blockbuster summer event. The UFC is owned by entertainment agency WME-IMG. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported negotiations were underway between the entertainment powerhouse and Al Haymon, Mayweather’s longtime adviser.

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