Think about this for a minute.
Following the opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, who appeared on the TV?
None other than UFC president Dana White.
And this wasn’t a game on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 or even ESPN. This was TNT.
White talked about the promotion he helps run, but, of course, the focus of the interview was on Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
Which is why the UFC is already a winner in this drawn-out spectacle even if he doesn’t come to fruition.
Take a quick look at any of the sports sites out there right now. Who graces the headlines, feature stories, opinion articles? UFC and Conor McGregor.
Even if McGregor and Mayweather actually step inside the boxing ring to compete, and even if the reigning UFC lightweight champion is defeated, he will have helped the UFC take another step closer to mainstream.
When McGregor broke into the UFC, he wasted little time in climbing the charts and putting his name in main events and on pay-per-views. His brash, “Notorious” attitude took off and the UFC jumped right aboard the ship just as others fell by the wayside.
Who better than the Irish fighter to help continue that push. His “exit” from the UFC for a brief while generated headlines, as did his return and his wins over Eddie Alvarez and Nate Diaz. But, with all due respect to the rest of the UFC roster, there is only so many times the marquee networks will care about McGregor beating up another fighter.
Enter “Money” Mayweather and all of his boasts, proclamations and comments. Honestly, in the world of combat sports, there is no better person to go back-and-forth with McGregor than the former boxing champion.
Now that the UFC has come out and stated McGregor is signed, sealed and delivered for the contest, they have all the power in the media. If Mayweather balks and walks away, the UFC can claim he ran scared. If Mayweather agrees to fight and defeats McGregor, they can say it was in his arena and not the Octagon.
And if McGregor were to somehow defeat Mayweather, handing him his first and likely only loss in his hall of fame boxing career, well, you might as well place that rocket-ship on the moon because that is where it is headed.