Mark Henry: UFC champ Conor McGregor should pursue boxing beyond Floyd Mayweather

#video-container .heading-small h2,.mobile-stream-tabs > div {border-bottom-color: #6587b9;}@media all and (min-width: 1000px) {.branding__logo-link {border-bottom-color: #6587b9;}}.article__pagination .article__pagination__button:hover,.article__pagination .article__pagination__link:hover,.article__pagination .article__pagination__button:active,.article__pagination .article__pagination__link:active {border-color: #6587b9;}.nav__item:hover,.nav__item--current,#footer-info {border-top-color: #6587b9;}.articleBody blockquote:not(.pq),.error404 .entry-content blockquote:not(.pq),.search-no-results .entry-content blockquote:not(.pq),.archive-no-results .entry-content blockquote:not(.pq) {border-left-color: #6587b9;}.article__back,.newsletter__input {border-color: #6587b9;}.hero__label,.column .block .img-holder .meta,.second-tab-content h2,.single-related .fixed-height-img-holder.link .meta,.mobile-nav__menu .mobile-nav__item > a:active,.mobile-nav__menu .mobile-nav__item--current > a,.article__pagination__current,.articleBody:after,.error404 .entry-content:after,.search-no-results .entry-content:after,.archive-no-results .entry-content:after,.story-share-buttons .share-count,.newsletter__button {background-color: #6587b9;}@media all and (min-width: 1000px) {.branding {border-bottom-color: #6587b9;}}
USA Today Sports

Mark Henry: UFC champ Conor McGregor should pursue boxing beyond Floyd Mayweather

Mark Henry: UFC champ Conor McGregor should pursue boxing beyond Floyd Mayweather

UFC

Mark Henry: UFC champ Conor McGregor should pursue boxing beyond Floyd Mayweather


On the off-chance its not abundantly clear to you, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has a rare talent for polarization. He excels at it.
Just consider the opposing factions on either side of the McGregor-axis. Theres the unwavering acolytes, and then the vehement detractors, who are eternally embroiled in the most bitter war of words in countless comment sections.
And yet, amid all that noise, a significant number of people inhabit a less perilous grey area, one where the Irishman’s undoubted gifts can be appreciated as much as his antics.
Mark Henry falls into that category.
The man who coached UFC standouts Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) and Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to the lightweight world title has his past issues with McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) but remains an ardent admirer of both his charisma and prodigious fighting prowess.
Which brings us to UFC President Dana Whites confirmation Wednesday night that McGregor had signedan official agreement for his long-mooted bout with retired five-weight world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing).
Of course, McGregors signature guarantees nothing, because there is still the matter of compelling the notoriously obtuse Mayweather to get on board in what could yet prove the sternest test of Whites negotiation skills. From a business perspective, Henry believes McGregor has made a prudent choice in pursuing a showdown with Mayweather.
However, the New Jersey native is also adamant that the Dubliner should be relieved of the lightweight strap he so spectacularly took from Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the first fighter to ever simultaneously lord over two UFC divisions.
Look, if I was Conor, I would definitely pursue the boxing, because he can make more in one fight than in 10 or 11 with the UFC, Henry told MMAjunkie. But, while hes doing it, they should definitely make another 155-pound belt, because it would be ridiculous if they didnt.
When Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from his interim lightweight title bout with Tony Ferguson the day before UFC 209, that very contingency plan was blown out of the water, although Henrys gripe transcends McGregors activity, or lack thereof, in the lightweight division.
After “The Notorious” dethroned Jose Aldo as featherweight champion at UFC 194, it was widely thought Edgar — who knocked out Chad Mendes the previous night and extended his winning streak to five consecutive bouts — would be next in line for a title shot.
Instead, the UFC allowed McGregor to immediately move up to lightweight to challenge then-champion Rafael Dos Anjos, which led to the first of two unforgettable Nate Diaz fights after Dos Anjos pulled out. The 145-pound belt lay dormant, and Henry was among the most vocal critics of the divisional stasis that followed.
Enough with the past, though. Because with the prospect of McGregor actually sharing a ring with Mayweather substantially less ridiculous than it was even a month ago, there are more pressing matters to discuss.
Henry earned his stripes as a boxer and, having witnessed the full extent of McGregors capabilities first hand, he doesnt think its beyond the realm of possibility that the 28-year-old could rattle one of the most revered defensive pugilists in history.
For starters, theres the possibility Mayweather overlooks McGregor. And Henry sees McGregors physical attributes as being potentially pivotal. But, if McGregor is going to make them count, Henry said time will be of the essence.
Conor is one of the best boxers Ive ever seen ever. From his precision to his power to his speed, and I think he has a shot in the first two rounds,” Henry said. “Because Mayweather, like a lot of boxers do when theyre sparring MMA guys, he may not think hes that good.
He might not realize how fast Conor is, and youve got to remember that Conor is going to be taller, longer, 13 years younger, and a southpaw. Early on, Id give him a chance of doing some damage. But after that, its not going to be too good (for McGregor).
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.


















More UFC Articles