Kenny Florian made a pretty scary prediction for the type of vengeance that the UFC’s lightweight champion Conor McGregor will bring with him back to MMA after his short, but ultimately spirited foray into the world of boxing.
Mayweather-McGregor is now done and dusted and though the spectacle and surprisingly the fight itself lived up to expectations, I think it’s fair to say that both the boxing and MMA worlds are just happy to move on with their respective sports and rest easy in the knowledge that will be some time before anything that even comes close to resembling the last few months is seen again.
McGregor was, of course, TKO’d in the tenth by the unbeaten boxer but now, with seemingly endless options available to him, has kept his cards close to his chest, giving very little away about his future plans.
A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, a lightweight title defense and even another venture into the welterweight division are just a few of the choices Conor can ponder over but there are no doubts that he will look to bounce back from his recent loss with an absolute vengeance, no matter who it is he decides to fight.
Kenny Florian spoke about this exact subject on the most recent edition of his Anik & Florian podcast and his musings on the return of Conor McGregor make for a pretty terrifying thought, especially if you are someone he plans on knocking out in the near future.
“Against the best boxer of our generation is a totally different deal. You know what I think is going to happen for Conor in mixed martial arts? I think he’s going to be an absolute beast. I think he’s going to be that much better. Who has experienced the magnitude of this kind of fight in mixed martial arts? You tell me that. Who has been able to deal with anything that Conor has thrown at them as far as being in big fights?”
“They all crumble, besides Nate Diaz. Diaz was the only one who had the mental fortitude to stay present, to stay in there and have the guts to fight Conor at his own game. That’s the only guy who can do it. That’s the only guy who I think can give him that kind of fight on the feet. But now, being in there with someone like Floyd Mayweather – skillwise – Conor is going to take it to a completely other level.”
“Let me go back to what he said after the fight, he was very honest in his assessment in how he said ‘listen I need to be better in-tight, when Floyd was putting his head on my chest, I wasn’t able to hit him with clean shots, that’s where I need to improve.’ This is a guy who stays so present and is very honest in that assessment, that’s why he’s such a phenomenal mixed martial artist.”
“Say what you want about how he hypes the fights, but as far as how he approaches the game, he is one of the best martial artists I have ever seen, period. That’s why, coming away from competing in a professional boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, he’s going to be an absolute savage on the feet for his next fight.”
High praise from Florian indeed but still, given the fact that Conor has spent an extensive amount of time preparing for perhaps the most technically sound boxer of all-time, the lessons he has learned in that camp will no doubt augment his already-elite level skills on the feet and make him a genuine nightmare for anyone he faces inside the octagon from this point onwards.