It’s finally over. Conor McGregor did his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Sure, he lost but everyone involved in that mega fight all came out as winners. McGregor walked away with just a black eye and $30 million just for his fight purse. He still stands to earn much more from sponsors and PPV numbers. While he won’t be able to take that extreme of a pay day back to the UFC with him, he could be able to use his new skills to improve his MMA game. That’s what Kenny Florian thinks at least. Florian spoke about what he expects from McGregor for his UFC return and who he thinks that Conor will fight.
“I think Conor [McGregor] is going to learn so much from this. He’s going to come back to mixed martial arts I think even sharper, even stronger mentally, stronger physically. He’s going to be an absolute beast because there’s so many lessons that you can take away from fighting a composed and clean fighter like Mayweather.”
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) August 30, 2017
“He’s not going to make $100 million in the UFC but there is still huge fights. You can fight a Nate Diaz in a trilogy fight which would be huge. I don’t think $100 million huge, but is it always about the money? I think it’s the challenge. I think Conor realizes that’s an extremely marketable fight. I think Nate Diaz deserves it. They’re one-and-one. You have a championship fight at 155lbs for the belt against Nate Diaz. I love that fight.” — Kenny Florian for UFC on FOX.
Even though boxing is very different, Conor McGregor did last longer than he did (or could) in any MMA fight. Even lasting until the end of his five-round rematch with Nate Diaz, McGregor noticeably got tired in the third round. Against Mayweather, McGregor was able to last double that before really looking exhausted. If his boxing skill and conditioning has improved, it will serve him well in capping off the rumored trilogy fight with Diaz that Florian believes will happen.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/30/2017.