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The case for a Conor McGregor win
A Conor McGregor win over Floyd Mayweather would rank as perhaps the greatest upset in American sports history. McGregor has a number of advantages over Mayweather ahead of their fight. So, is an upset plausible?
McGregor has some overtly obvious advantages
All odds brought to you by Bovada.
For a guy who's never stepped inside a boxing ring, Conor McGregor sure has many convinced he might do the unthinkable come August 26 — end Floyd Mayweather's unbeaten streak.
In Mayweather's last nine fights, his current -550 odds at winning is the third lowest — he was -200 against Manny Pacquiao and -300 versus Canelo Alvarez. That means sports books are giving McGregor more hope to pull off the victory against Mayweather than they did for established boxers like Marcos Maidana, Andre Berto, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, and Victor Ortiz.
That might seem insane on the surface but it's not. McGregor has some obvious warts — none bigger than his lack of boxing experience — but he's also a mismatch for Mayweather in more ways than one.
Fighting is a young man's game and McGregor is entering his physical peak, having just turned 29 years old. Mayweather's worries extend past McGregor, he's also fighting father time. At 40 years old, even he admits age is catching up to him.
"I know I'm not the same fighter I was 20 years ago, I'm not the same fighter I was 10 years ago... As a matter of fact, I'm not the same fighter I was 5 years ago," Mayweather has repeatedly said during the buildup to the fight.
It took a giant payoff from this fight for Mayweather to come out of his second career retirement. He last fought in Septemeber 2015 and there will be obvious ring rust come fight night.
You can't say the same for McGregor. Since Mayweather's swansong, McGregor has made his dent in UFC history. He's fought four times, including epic wins against Jose Aldo and Nate Diaz.
The bout's 154-pound limit also favors McGregor. He's the reigning UFC lightweight champion at 155 pounds. Matter of fact, McGregor is considered "big" for a lightweight, even competing twice at 170 pounds. Meanwhile, Mayweather's weight class has fluctuated throughout his career but hovered around at 147 pounds pre-retirement.
McGregor himself has predicted Mayweather's small stature will give him the edge. "His little legs, his little core, his little head, I am going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my words," McGregor famously quipped at the press conference.
Make no mistake about it, if McGregor wins, it's coming from a devastating knockout. It would take a miracle for McGregor, with little boxing background, to stand in the ring and outpoint an all-time great.
And McGregor certainly has knockout power. All but three of his 22 career MMA triumphs have come via ref stoppage. Of course, he famously ended Jose Aldo's almost-decade long win streak in 13 seconds from one punch. He'll need that same power — if not more — to end Mayweather's streak.
No doubt Mayweather will stick to the script and stay on the defensive. He ducks and dodges blows better than any boxer in history. However, he's never faced a wild card quite like McGregor.
No one has any idea what McGregor's fighting style will look like. There's zero tape on him for Mayweather to prepare for in advance. But it's probably not going to be conventional — as in the tried-and-true orthodox or southpaw stance — as Mayweather is accustomed to seeing.
McGregor's movements could feign Mayweather into leaving himself open for the tiniest second. All McGregor needs is one opening before he can use his two-inch reach advantage to land that crushing blow.
August 26 is going to be historic. If it ends up as shocking, it'll be because McGregor's youth, size, power, and unorthodox style caught Mayweather off guard.
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