There is currently no bigger story in the world of combat sports than that of Conor McGregor‘s plans to challenge undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring. While this fight’s fruition is still far from a certainty, many members of the combat sports world are chiming in, giving their opinions on it.
The latest to do so is undefeated Dagestani lightweight Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov.
“As a fan, it is a very interesting fight,” Khabib told MMANews.info of this possible mega-fight (translation via Karim Zidan of BloodyElbow.com). “I understand perfectly why it is carried out. It is guaranteed to bring the organizers a lot of money. Such an event the world of martial arts is not yet known.”
While Khabib does not deny his interest in this much-discussed showdown, however, he believes it could be dangerous for the integrity of MMA.
“In truth, for MMA it is a very dangerous fight,” he said. “We’re close to boxing in terms of popularity ratings. And if the most-promoted fighter in the UFC such as McGregor is defeated by a 40-year-old boxer, it would be a blow to the reputation of MMA. But the money apparently outweighs any risks.”
These comments from Nurmagomedov echo comments made by current Bellator star Chael Sonnen earlier this week – though he suggested the fight could be disastrous for boxing, not MMA.
“The public dismisses boxing as a fringe, fake, and phoney sport, and the public may just be right,” Sonnen told FightHub TV. “The fact that you can take a guy that has never lost in professional boxing and put him in there with a guy who has never done professional boxing and have a lot of people – including people in the industry of boxing – think that the guy who has never done it is going to beat your undefeated greatest of all time is an embarrassment for the sport.”
“If Conor McGregor lasts 30 seconds with Floyd Mayweather it discredits boxing, and I think he will. If Conor McGregor makes it out of one round with Floyd Mayweather, the entire sport of boxing is a fake, phoney myth. And that’s the kind of pressure they’re under.”
What do you think of these comments from Khabib Nurmagomedov and Chael Sonnen? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/2/2017.