It feels like just yesterday that boxing and MMA were the biggest enemies in sports, and Floyd Mayweather and his entourage always seemed to be somewhere close to the action. Now, though, that tune has changed in a massive way.
In an interview with Fight Hype, Mayweather opened up on his interest in getting into the MMA business.
I want to promote MMA fighters also. We lookin' to promote MMA fighters...You know, Al Haymon is looking to manage MMA fighters. Even though Al Haymon hasn't came on record and said it, but I want Al to manage MMA fighters. I think I can take it to the next level.
If there's one thing Floyd "Money" Mayweather knows (other than boxing), it's dollar signs. What makes this such a surprise, though, is Mayweather's famous anti-MMA quotes. Mayweather famously stated in a 2011 interview with CBS Sports that MMA was created out of a desire to see Caucasians succeed in combat sports due to their recent floundering in boxing. Earlier this year, leading into his fight with Robert Guerrero, he hinted during an interview with Showtime that his opponent's dirty, unrefined style was better suited for MMA.
Mayweather hasn't been the only one to fire shots, though, as UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently stated the pound-for-pound greatest boxer in the world "would get killed by an average college wrestler" in a street fight.
While Mayweather expressing his interest in MMA was a bit surprising on its own, that wasn't even the craziest part of the interview. That came when Mayweather stated "You know, I don't mind doing business with Dana White. Dana White's a cool guy. I've been knowing Dana before he got involved with the MMA."
The UFC's president has been famously critical of Mayweather. He labeled the boxer a racist for comments he made on Jeremy Lin in 2012. White also criticized Mayweather for his refusal to fight fellow champion Manny Pacquiao over pay structure.
This, in turn, would set off a war of words with members of Mayweather's entourage.
Evidently, though, any sort of bad blood has been set aside. Dana White was photographed alongside UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, as well as The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 contestants Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington at Mayweather's latest fight, opposite Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
It will be interesting to see how all this pans out.