Take this with a grain of salt, but according to Wrestling Edge, top pound-for-pound boxer “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather has signed a deal with the UFC. I do not follow pro wrestling so I don’t know if this site is credible or not, but I thought it was a fun rumor to pass along if nothing else on a slow Saturday night.
I just got off the phone with a source very close to the situation and I am told that Floyd Mayweather and his representatives have been in contact with UFC’s Dana White as late as Wednesday but “possibly as late as last night” according to the source.
UFC is expected to make several announcements on Thursday.
1) Anderson Silva will be fighting in the light heavyweight class
2) Chuck Liddell will fight in the main event on the September pay-per-view in Atlanta
However, the big announcement being rumored is that Floyd Mayweather will be signing or has signed with UFC. For those that did not read our last update, Mayweather announced his retirement from boxing. If this signing turns out to be the case this would be a huge coup for UFC as it would surely attract some of the boxing fans that have not given UFC a chance.
Like I said, this could turn out to a hoax, but it would fit the bill for Dana White’s “mind-blowing announcement.”
Sam Caplan with Five Oz. ironically posted an article earlier today speculating that perhaps the big surprise could be Mayweather joining the UFC.
But the timing of Mayweather’s [retirement from boxing] announcement is very curious. UFC President Dana White revealed earlier this week that a huge announcement is planned for this coming Thursday. I speculated in a column earlier today that I believe it will have to do with network television. But what if I’m wrong and the announcement had to do with Mayweather signing a contract to fight for the UFC?
This just doesn’t make sense to me though. Would Mayweather really turn down $20 million to beat up on De La Hoya again to make a couple million at the most to get his ass kicked in the UFC? He boxes at 140lbs I believe and certainly doesn’t strike me as a large person. Wouldn’t he be very undersized at 155lbs where some of the guys are 165lbs – 170lbs at fight time?
I find it hard to believe he would OK with the standard restrictive UFC three fight contract. Would the UFC break the mold for Mayweather and give him a one fight deal like he is used to in boxing? If it’s just one fight, who would it be against? Would they bring Urijah Faber up for a super fight? Put him against BJ Penn? If you’re going to do it, you gotta do it right and put him against the biggest stars at that weight class I would think. Either BJ or Faber would have Mayweather on the ground crying for help within the first minute.
If true, maybe Mayweather wants a new challenge? Maybe he just wants to be seen in the “cool” sport. I just hope for his sake he isn’t training with those so called legendary trainers from Iron Ring that no one’s ever heard of.
I will say this though.
Personally, I could care less about Mayweather fighting in MMA. Until he could prove he has MMA skills and could compete at the top level, he’s just another fighter trying to make it.
However, what he would bring to the table in terms of exposure would probably be the biggest thing this sport has ever seen. MMA would be all over ESPN in unprecedented levels. All the boxing fans would be tuning in as well. It would certainly be huge and without a doubt good for the sport.
I guess we’ll find out Thursday.
[Update – June 8, 2008 9:40AM] – Once again, I’m not sure how credible this source is, but apparently Dana White was quoted as saying that the UFC is “due to have an all star caliber boxer make the jump to MMA to help legitimize the sport,” to Setanta Sports while in the UK yesterday for UFC 85.
I can’t think of who else he would be referring to. I tried to find the quote on the Setanta Sports website, with no luck. If you stumble on it, please forward it to me or drop it in the comments.
Certainly adds more fuel to the fire. I still don’t buy it though.