While serving as an analyst on Fox Sports 1, the UFC lightweight champ, along with Daniel Cormier, was asked if Rousey could defeat Mayweather in a fight. Cormier smiled for the cameras and offered a flimsy "yes" to the question.
Pettis, on the other hand, seemed relatively annoyed that the question even existed in the first place.
“Ridiculous,” Pettis answered, during the Fox Sports 1 broadcasting panel for the TUF Nations Finale.
Pettis followed up by claiming Mayweather would beat Rousey in an MMA fight even if boxing wasn’t allowed.
Anthony Pettis on @FOXSports1 just said Floyd Mayweather would beat Ronda Rousey in an MMA fight without boxing. Agree or disagree?— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) April 16, 2014
The sports world has been buzzing about the hypothetical fight ever since Rousey’s appearance on Power 106 FM, where she openly admitted she thought she could beat Mayweather in an MMA fight.
“I would just bear crawl over there too low for him to hit me, and I’d tackle him down. ...I spent a lot of time [on the ground], and I doubt that he does,” said Rousey, when asked if she could beat Mayweather in an MMA fight.
There are those like Pettis that scoff at the idea of Rousey defeating the undefeated boxing legend, but there are also people like UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who truly believe Rousey would beat Mayweather in an MMA setting:
If Ronda got a clinch on him, it's not just about worrying about getting taken down to the ground, it's worrying about knees to the body, Rogan said during an appearance on ESPN’s Sports Nation. It's worrying about her manipulating his body in a way he doesn't understand. He would have to go with the very best trainers in the world and spend a good, solid six months to a year on nothing but grappling. Ronda Rousey. I'm not kidding you. It's too hard to avoid the clinch.
Who would win in an MMA rules match without boxing?
There’s no deluding anyone that Rousey would actually stand a chance in a pure boxing match, but things do become a bit more interesting with grappling involved.
We have already seen Rousey toss around grown men much bigger than Mayweather on the grappling mat, particularly UFC middleweight Uriah Hall on TUF 17.
As Rogan explains, grappling is an art in itself, and there are numerous concepts and positions that Mayweather simply isn’t prepared to defend.
Perhaps Mayweather would beat Rousey in an MMA fight or boxing match, but with no punching allowed, as Pettis insinuates, one would be hard-pressed not to give the edge to Rousey.
Maybe the good folks at FOX should consider resurrecting the defunct Celebrity Boxing as Celebrity Grappling: Mayweather vs. Rousey.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.