Floyd Mayweather continues to insist there is a very real possibility that he will fight in MMA, and he’s even now giving an indication of when he might make his debut.
“I started training already,” Mayweather told FightHype.com. “Not the physical part – endurance, as far as moving around. So far, I’ve started running.
“I’m thinking about fighting in the MMA, I’ve thought about it. … I started training in Miami. I look forward to fighting probably by the end of the year. We don’t know. Right now it’s a 50-50 (chance), not a hundred percent. But we’ve started training.”
Mayweather also confirmed that he intends to train with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, though he also makes it clear that he is looking to work with other experts in their chosen fields too as he looks to build his own MMA game.
“Me and Woodley have spoke to each other on numerous occasions. We talked. We said we’re going to start working out, as far as he’s got a great hand game already. I’m going to be working with different guys in the jiu-jitsu world. My wrestling game, I’m going to be working with guys with the wrestling. My kicking game, I’m going to be working with guys for the kicking game. Before I get in the octagon, I’ve got to be well rounded, all around the board.”
It seems a lot to learn for someone who has no previous MMA experience, but Mayweather sounds confident he can make an impact in the sport.
“Fighting is not nothing new for me. Fighting barefoot is something new, but fighting is nothing new for me. The thing is this — (say I’m) fighting a guy that has some unbelievable jiu-jitsu skills, unbelievable wrestling skills, but the thing is this: His chances of getting to me, I mean, the percentage of his chances getting to me to lock up with me, he has to come in first. But he may lock up with me, and he may get wrapped up in certain ways. You don’t know how things could play out or how things could happen.
“With MMA, anything can happen. It’s brutal. It’s very, very brutal.”
You have to wonder if Mayweather really knows what he would be getting himself into if his main takeaway at the moment is that he’d have to fight barefoot.
Another interesting takeaway from Mayweather’s interview is that he intends to fight at 145lbs – which would thankfully stamp out any talk of him going up against the 170lb pro-wrestler turned MMA novice CM Punk, but it does keep former featherweight champion Conor McGregor in play.
“If I was to fight in the MMA, I would have to fight at 145 (pounds). The weight class I would fight at is 145. … In MMA it would be totally different, because we don’t have no shoes on, and with 4-ounce gloves on, you think I’m fast with 8-ounce gloves on, imagine how fast I’d be with 4-ounce gloves on.”
Mayweather also claimed that he is now the No.1 star in MMA, with McGregor in the No.2 spot, but when asked directly if he wants to fight him in the cage, he wouldn’t commit one way or the other.
“I can’t say right now,” Mayweather said. “I can’t really say how things are going to play out. I’m a numbers man. I’m all about the numbers.”