Although McGregor talked a big game, and confidently predicted he’d take Mayweather out inside of four rounds, most folks understood that was a stretch. After all, not only is Mayweather one of the most decorated boxers of all time, he’s one of the best defensive pugilists the game has seen. So, not too many people were saying McGregor was going to defeat Mayweather, without question, on August 26th.
Well, although McGregor was ultimately stopped in round ten, many folks, including one of the judges, had him winning the first three rounds. As a result, during a recent “MMA Hour”, Cormier had this to say about the UFC lightweight champ (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I was very proud of [McGregor]. He went out there and he represented himself and the UFC and every other guy with a great deal of class and dignity and he did a fantastic job,” Cormier said. “So I felt like, as a guy who’s been in the sport for a long time, a guy who, every time I’m in contact with Conor, it’s only respect and he’s such a respectful guy, I wanted him to, if he got [my message] — I know his coach pays quite a bit of attention, John Kavanagh — to see that we are very proud of him as a mixed martial arts community. Because he has nothing to hold his head down about.
“He fought the greatest boxer of all-time and won rounds. I mean, when Brendan Schaub put that bet up that he would win rounds, I was like ‘I’ll take the bet.’ Man, I would’ve lost a lot of money to Brendan Schaub, because Conor won some rounds. He won some rounds and he did a fantastic job, man. We’re all proud of him. We’re all very proud of what he did out there on Saturday.”
Now yes, Mayweather didn’t kick it into high gear until after he had studied McGregor, and let him tire, but it’s hard to argue with Cormier here. McGregor did appear to have Mayweather doing some second guessing early on, and he also landed some nice shots.
All the talk about MayMac aside, now it will be very interesting to see what comes next for both McGregor and Cormier.