UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. has some "strong tools" that'd enable him to be a success in MMA.
McGregor had his first professional boxing fight on Saturday against the iconic Mayweather, but he was stopped in the 10th round. In an Instagram post on Thursday discussing all aspects of the contest, the Irishman paid tribute to his opponent and his abilities as a fighter:
"I always told him he was not a fighter but a boxer," said McGregor. "But sharing the ring with him he is certainly a solid fighter. Strong in the clinch. Great understanding of frames and head position. He has some very strong tools he could bring into an MMA game for sure."
While McGregor was impressed with the intricacies of Mayweather's fighting style, plenty were surprised by how well the UFC man adapted to boxing in his debut.
In the early stages of the fight it was the Irishman who was the aggressor, bossing the first round and putting Mayweather under pressure in the second and third. However, as the contest moved on and fatigue set in, McGregor found it tough to close off the holes in his fighting style and Mayweather picked him off.
In the end, Mayweather earned a stoppage in the 10th round. Joe.co.uk's Darragh Murphy put the effort of McGregor into perspective:
Darragh Murphy @DarrMurphy
McGregor landed 30 more punches on Mayweather than Pacquiao did. 111-81. Just think about that for a second.2017-8-27 05:35:58
Boxing journalist Tom Gray put his own spin on the statistics provided, though, noting the UFC man didn't do any serious damage to Mayweather:
Tom Gray @Tom_Gray_Boxing
Stop taking Compubox verbatim. Canelo & Pac landed "quality" punches on Floyd. McGregor was literally pawing and moving his hands. Insane!!!2017-8-27 11:35:02
While the boxer, who now has a perfect record of 50-0 in his professional career, is a canny and spirited operator, the chances of him ever venturing into the world of MMA at this point are next to none.
Mayweather insisted after his win over the Notorious that he would not be fighting again, regardless of the payday on offer. At the age of 40 and with so much accomplished inside a boxing ring, it appears this time he is likely to call it quits for good.