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Fight fans are used to lots of build-up and bluster for battles that never end up happening. The talks to put together a battle between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor appear to be following that trend, and UFC boss Dana White is preparing fans to watch McGregor take on someone else.
TMZ briefly caught up with White in Los Angeles this weekend, and they pressed him on whether a fight between the two champions was any closer to happening.
"I don't know where we're at, we're nowhere," says White. "I expect Connor's next fight to be in the UFC, in mixed martial arts and the winner of Khabib vs. Ferguson."
White and McGregor are in a tough spot here. Mayweather is for all intents and purposes retired, and is unlikely to come out of retirement unless the right fight becomes available on his terms.
Stepping into the octagon with Conor McGregor certainly doesn't qualify, and the challenge will be to convince McGregor (and White) to give up the martial arts advantage to take on an undefeated boxer in the ring.
Mayweather has both hinted at the fight being closer and dampened expectations, which puts extra pressure on the UFC guys. When the retired guy is the one controlling the message, it makes it appear as though the UFC team and White especially are dragging their feet. That may very well be the case, but it's not the image a hyper-macho organization like the UFC probably wants to project.
Don't get your hopes up that this thing will happen any time soon. It took over a half decade to get Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to go toe-to-toe, and they were already peers in the same sport. Putting together this cross-disciplinary war would take a monumental effort that we just haven't seen from either side yet.