Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is a 12-round super welterweight matchup that pits the legendary boxer Mayweather against the all-time MMA great McGregor in an unprecedented event that takes place Saturday, August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The event telecast is produced and distributed by Showtime PPV and promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
Both athletes held press conferences on Wednesday with a number of different media outlets. In this interview Conor McGregor discusses a number of issues, including the gloves each fighter will wear, and the general public’s “disregard for his skillset.”
Q: I wanted to get your reaction today to the ruling that the Nevada State Athletic Commission made that will allow the request that you and Floyd made, to reduce the size of gloves from 10 ounces to 8 ounces. Can you give me your thoughts about that ruling?
Conor McGregor:: I'm very happy with how the Nevada State Athletic Commission handled it. I think they handled it fairly - they listened to both requests and just the overall approach to the decision and the referees, the judges, I think they were very fair throughout. So that was a good thing for me to see that they're taking into consideration both fighters' requests and I'm very happy with it.
Q: What was your specific reason for wanting the smaller gloves?
C. McGregor:: You've got pros and cons on both sides. You've got both athletes asking for the request. And then you've got me also coming up in ounces from what I'm used to. I know some in the media are like oh no, it's 10, it's 8, but hey, look what I fight with. I fight in 4 ounce gloves, fingerless gloves. The knuckles are barely covered in what I am used to, so it benefits both in certain ways and I'm very happy with it.
Q: What kind of gloves will you wear in the fight; what brand?
C. McGregor:: You know, we're still in discussion with that, so we'll see in a little bit.
Q: I wanted to know might there be two or three things that people don't know about you that hasn't been written before?
C. McGregor:: Oh wow. I don't know. What you see with me is what you get. I am the same person on and off the camera. A lot of people like to say I'm not. Obviously there are different moments. You'll catch me against an opponent, I'm a little different but I portray myself as who I am. So what you see is what you get with me. And there have been many articles, many stories, many things written, but it's been okay I suppose. It's just I am who I am. I speak the truth for what I believe and people portray that in many ways. So I'm pretty open and what you see is what you get with me.
Q: Is there anything like you like to cook, maybe any other hobbies - changing diapers now lately?
C. McGregor:: Yes. I'm razor quick with the diaper changes. Right now I have a nutritionist who's been with me for this time, bringing in the weight. So the cooking is out the window, my son has been living with me since, it must be three months now. We've had one hell of a camp. It's been one long stretch. A lot of hard, hard work. A lot of dedicated and focused work and then of course the nutrition has been top of the range, and that's why I'm at peak physical condition at this moment, ten days out. Now we are closing in on the weight cutting phase, and then we weigh-in and we fight. So that's about it. I'm by the book.
Q: How have you approached the challenge of possibly going 12 rounds in this fight?
C. McGregor:: We've adjusted to the timing in my cardiovascular preparation. On the endurance phases we've stretched it out to accommodate the 12 three minute rounds. It's actually been very enjoyable to go from five, five minute rounds which is what I'm used to, which is 25 minutes, to 12 threes in boxing, which is 36 minutes. You've got to factor in there's not as much grabbing, but not to the extent of a mixed martial arts bout where you can end up on your back and you've got to tactically work your way back to your feet, which is very draining.
But it's a different kind of cardiovascular training. So we have adjusted some things and I feel absolutely amazing. I've done multiple 12 round fights in the buildup for this. I've done 12 rounds just last night. We are more than prepared. Myself and my training team have formulated the McGregor fast program. This is a cardiovascular training program that we formulated after I suffered my first defeat in the UFC to Nate Diaz. We formulated it for the Diaz 2 rematch. And even a triathlete with a big weight advantage, much bigger man and can go for days, that's what he specializes in.
He has an unrivaled gas tank. So we had to come up with a special formula and a special method to train. And that's what we've done. We created the McGregor fast program and I've been on that since about a week after that first loss. And since then I've had I believe two bouts under that and now this will be the third one. So I've been on this program over a year now and you'll see the results. I mean to be able to go from 5 fives to 12 threes and we've done it pretty seamlessly as well, I'm very proud of it and I'm very excited to go in and represent the McGregor fast program on August 26th as well.
Q: I'm wondering if you see a difference between how fans treat you and Floyd and whether you think race plays any role in that.
C. McGregor:: How many times have I been slayed by people? It's give and take here. I get my fair share of hate and my fair share of love also. I believe it's 50/50. I mean look at every boxing analyst. It's like I've been discarded and it's like I'm not welcome. I've suffered as well, so it is what it is. For me, this is athlete versus athlete. I was upset that Floyd tried to bring this in. I thought that was a weak move on his part. And he knows and his people truly know that it's not from me, not that I'm saying that there's not people on both sides that have this mindset where it's black versus white and this type of thing.
But it's certainly something I do not condone. This is athlete versus athlete and two prime physical condition athletes about to take part in an amazing event and that's it on my end. So I'm disappointed to hear the way sometimes it's been portrayed, but I suppose it's just the nature of the game with the way things are going on in the world at the moment. But all I can do is stay focused on my craft and look to go out and put on a great performance for the fans who are supporting this event, as a whole.
Q: What do you make of some of boxing circles being so dismissive of this fight? Is that something that motivates you?
C. McGregor:: It's certainly motivating. The disrespect and the disregard to my skill set is disappointing. I look at people so many times and their mind is closed. They've got a closed mind to how things can be done. It's a set way and there's no other way. Where if that was the case we'd never have reached across the waters and searched for other lands. And we'd never have went into space. Do you know what I mean? You've got to have an open mind and you've got to realize that there are other ways and there is a time and a place for every single moment.
You've got to give respect for other disciplines and other styles. Like for instance, fighting is a complex game. There is a time and a place for every single attack and every single move. It's about finding the correct timing for it. So when I hear the way they carry on and they disregard and disrespect, it is what it is. I use it as motivation and I look forward to going in and educating them. But at the same time I get it. I'm coming in; I'm supposed to be from another sport and so again, I understand where it's at. But I'm just looking forward to August 26th, going in and proving what I'm saying and then educating the world on what martial arts are and giving the fans and everybody a good solid fight and earning my respect in this game also.
Q: In UFC you can't always wear personal sponsors, logos and endorsements like that. Are you looking forward to that? What do you have planned endorsement wise for August 26th?
C. McGregor:: Yes. I've got a couple of endorsements coming up. And then as far as an apparel deal, we're close on an apparel deal. But at the same time, I'm in no rush. I've got good endorsement deals. As far as in ring endorsements, there are two that will be on the shorts I believe. Look, there are so many moving parts in the game. I'm just kind of trying to roll with it. And look, it's ten days from the fight time so I leave this to my agency and my management agency. I rely on sports management to handle that side of the business, but it is certainly a good business, so I'm very happy with everything that's been going on, on the endorsement side.
Q: I just wondered how your preparation and also the buildup kind of outside around you, has differed from your big UFC fights and whether that's affected your preparations at all.
C. McGregor:: Oh, look it's another day for me. It's another day of making history. It's another day of doing what I've been told I shouldn't be doing or I can't do. It's another mega blockbuster event. It's nothing new to me here. So the only difference in this buildup is I have a little son now with me. So we are here in Las Vegas as a family and my coaches and sparring partners and team, they have their multiple houses close by. So it's just been - I go to the gym and I train really hard for that given day. I come home, I rest and chill with my family and then I repeat.
And then the media and the circus around it, it's business as usual. It's the exact same.
Q: Do you believe Floyd and what he has said about a rematch? Specifically on Jimmy Kimmel
C. McGregor:: Yes. I didn't watch - I didn't hear the Jimmy Kimmel bit - but I got some snippets of it that someone sent - I got tagged in some stuff, but I didn't really hear much of what he said. As far as what he said on the world tour, he said he would step into the octagon. If he would do that he would have my respect. Anyone that's willing to step into a game like that where the limitations are so short, deserves respect. And that's at all levels whether it's at club level in a small hall, or a big stadium, it's still full of fans. If you get into that game or any combat sport game for that matter. I'll be here to grant him his rematch.
But right now we're focused on putting him away August 26th and then we'll see what happens after that. I also have multiple world titles to defend inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And we'll see. Maybe he can come over and after he gets his ass whooped, he can try and challenge for my lightweight belt.
Q: I wondered whether your mindset has changed toward anything he's done or anything that's happened in the buildup has made you more confident?
C. McGregor:: I think the team I have around me has instilled confidence in me. And we have a solid team. It's been a growing team and an adjusting team throughout my career. And I think we just understand how it's done and how it's done correctly. And training has gone absolutely flawless. Everyone has a say; everyone listens to each other. Everyone's input is there and then we come to the best solution off of everyone's input and it's just been an absolute amazing camp.
The other night we were in the altitude chamber at like 13,000 feet at the Ultimate Fighting Championship Performance Institute and it was a scary training session. There's no way in hell that I am not ready to fight in the deepest of trenches in this contest. Like the training sessions and the practice that we've been putting in, has been to hell and back. So we are prepared for every possible outcome. I believe now the gloves are 8 ounces, I don't believe he makes it out of the second round. I have multiple first round KOs and I have multiple under one minute KOs on my record.
So part of me kind of wants to show some skill and to dismantle him that way. But I do not see it - I do not see him absorbing the blows in the first two rounds. But we are ready for absolutely every scenario. I'm ready to go to war for the full 12 rounds and I'm ready to put him away in the first ten seconds. So that's where my head's at.
Q: Floyd has worn eight ounce gloves in 46 out of his 49 fights. So for that reason, was there any consideration on your part, to wear 10 ounce gloves, just to inconvenience his side?
C. McGregor:: No. Not at all. I mean I said that doesn't bother me. Again, I'm - I was already up six ounces from four to ten, so it's down a little bit from ten to eight, so how often he's worn the gloves never factored into it. I didn't even know that for instance, so that didn't factor into my thoughts at all. I do not care about his record. I do not care about his achievements. Every fight is on a fight by fight basis. So that's the way we approach it.