Every now and again, martial arts pops up in the news for something especially crazy, and a whole bunch of the previously-uninitiated get on board to see something special. This time around, it’s the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather bout, set to test an MMA fighter against a legendary boxer and make them both a ridiculous amount of money. Mayweather is kind of a headline magnet, as undefeated professionals with long careers often are, but this fight is set to be unique not just for its crossing of martial arts, but for his opponent’s history as well.
Conor McGregor is almost a household name at this point, (not such an unusual thing in martial arts anymore—thanks, Ronda Rousey), but a few short years ago, there’s almost no chance you would have heard of him. In fact, part of what makes him such a great counterpoint to Mayweather is his history. McGregor was unknown until recently, and relying on government assistance to get by in his native Ireland. He got into the right bouts and made the right moves, and suddenly he’s about to make around $100,000,000 on a single fight. His rise to fame is one of those few things you can call meteoric, and so who better to test him against at this point than an aged, (one might even say weathered), but undefeated boxer sitting atop the world, right where McGregor wants to be?
Even if you’re not usually into martial arts, this will be a fight you’ll probably want to keep an eye on, especially if McGregor ends up winning. Historic moments in sports come from players like these two. Plus, a McGregor victory might lend further credence to the contention that MMA outpaces other styles of martial arts in terms of raw power and the ability to use one’s body to beat the stuffing out of somebody else’s body. If McGregor loses, it’s likely Mayweather will never feel the need to prove anything to anyone again in his life, and he can go back to retirement, comfortable in his legendary status. Whoever wins, it’s going to be a controversial night.