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'It's Going To Become Boxing': Joe Rogan's Fascinating Warning For The UFC's Future

'It's Going To Become Boxing': Joe Rogan's Fascinating Warning For The UFC's Future
By Gavan Casey
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It's somewhat inescapable regardless of your enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for the showpiece itself.

Over a year on from when the pair first exchanged barbs, the world of combat sports, and particular MMA, is still discussing a hypothetical fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

Following on from a weekend where McGregor called Mayweather every name under the sun in a sit-down interview with Ariel Helwani in Manchester, and where Mayweather himself hijacked Showtime's broadcast of Frampton-Santa Cruz II to announce that the fight might happen, Joe Rogan took to his podcast to discuss the potential fight and, rather more interestingly, the changing face of MMA during the McGregor era.

While partisan fans of each sport tend to distance both themselves and their chosen fight code from the other, ardent MMA fans will have received various warnings from their hard-nosed boxing cousins in the past 18 or so months; the UFC, for all its extraordinary recent success and its 'best fighting the best' unique selling point, is slowly trudging down the soulless road that boxing paved long ago.

To put it another way, it's a business - just like boxing is - and it's making metric shit-tons of cash - just like boxing always has.

All of a sudden, Interim belts, catchweights and new weight classes aren't as alien as they might have seemed a mere two or three years ago. Joe Rogan, however, has a theory as to why such a transition was inevitable, and he raised it while discussing the potential Mayweather-McGregor matchup:

It is an interesting argument, because it's not MMA. It's boxing. [McGregor] doesn't have a contract in boxing. It's not just with Floyd, it's with McGregor Promotions now. It's his own thing. He wants to co-promote.

[The UFC] going to become what boxing is. It's going to become that. Because it's star-driven, like all things - like music, like comedy, like everything. It's going to stay star-driven. And when it's star-driven like that, guys like Conor who are legitimate stars - they have the leverage. And they're going to manipulate that leverage, they're going to utilise that leverage, and we're going to see what happens.

Why do you hate that? It's always been like that in boxing. That's how they make the $100m paydays.


It's an interesting thesis from Rogan which, regardless of fans' preference, is already being put into practice. Never before in the UFC has the ball been so far on the athlete's side of the court. Considering what's happened since, being ripped from UFC 200 seems a mere inconvenience to McGregor, who continued to change the sport both during and after his annihilation of Eddie Alvarez just a few months later.


An MMA-boxing crossover bout between McGregor and former pound-for-pound boxing king Mayweather would likely not involve the UFC whatsoever if it came to pass, despite Dana White's rather beleaguered interference.

McGregor, now, is his own brand, and his plans for McGregor Promotions are reminiscent of his potential opponent's own move into 'the business', or that of Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions years before. Self-promotion is the next step when you enter combat sport's stratosphere, and it will change the game just as McGregor has inside the octagon.

As for his potentially stepping into the ring, Joe Rogan discussed this at length too:


What McGregor said that was really interesting in the press conference, was he said: 'Look, if it was a fight, it'd be the easiest fight ever'. He goes: 'Fuck UFC. Fuck boxing. If it was an actual fight, I'll fucking kill him. It's a joke. So, we're going to limit it to hands, and you play your little game. Okay. Let's do it'.

And that's interesting, there, because that plays to the ego, and he's the only guy who could ever say that to Floyd. Floyd's never faced a guy that says, 'Listen, this is not even a fight. This is a boxing match. If you want a fight, I will fuck you up. Any day of the week, wake me up and say you want to do it, and I'll fucking kill you'.

And that's true. He's also quite a bit bigger [than Mayweather].

Incredibly, the notion that McGregor may find a method of beating Mayweather "which doesn't yet exist" was then discussed, despite the fact that 49 life-long professional boxers have tried and failed to best the former five-weight world champion.

Rogan and co. were generally realistic about McGregor's chances in a boxing ring, however, and joked about the notion of McGregor simply picking the smaller Mayweather up and dumping him on his head after some testy verbal exchanges in the clinch.

Regardless of whether he tips Mayweather over in the squared circle, Rogan is spot on in his assertion that McGregor has turned the game on its head. And it'll never be the same.


SEE ALSO: Photo Opportunities With Conor McGregor Cost A Ridiculous Amount Of Money


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