UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley recently discussed on his TMZ segment Hollywood Beatdown (h/t Bloody Elbow's Milan Ordonez) how he's going to act as something of an MMA coach for Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the near future. He was not lying.
On Thursday, Mayweather himself confirmed Woodley's story in an interview with TMZ.
"I'm going to start soon," Mayweather said (h/t MMAJunkie.com's Mike Bohn). "We've been texting back and forth. We talked a couple times, but we're going to start working out real soon."
Talk of a Mayweather MMA bout has been swirling for months now, kicked off by a rumor floated in December by UFC commentator Joe Rogan on his podcast (h/t ESPN.com, via Wil Esco of Bad Left Hook) that eventually became the hottest story in MMA.
While Mayweather was initially resistant to the idea, denying any serious interest in transitioning, he has since changed his tune, sparking major discussion on the topic with a social media video in February and returning to the topic in interviews and online.
While Mayweather competing in the Octagon still feels somewhat absurd—40, after all, is not an ideal age to pick up cagefighting—there's little doubt that the biggest potential payday for Mayweather lies outside the ring. Money has always lived up to that nickname.
So when might Mayweather transition? According to the boxer, he'll need more than the two-and-a-half months Woodley suggested, but not too much.
"I'll probably need a little bit longer. Even if it takes six to eight months, whatever it takes, we just want to make sure everything is done correctly, and everything is done the right way."
That may seem ambitious, but Mayweather feels confident in his grappling as-is. While many would expect a boxer to struggle most on the ground in an MMA contest, the area he says he has the most room to improve in is actually standing.
"I can wrestle. My wrestling game is not that bad. On a scale from one to 10, I would say it's probably a seven. We can take it up to a nine, if possible. Of course my hand game, on a scale of one to 10, it's 100. The kicking game, on a scale from one to 10, it's probably a four. We have to tweak a few things to take things to the next level."
While even at this point it's too early to get excited for a Mayweather move to MMA, things are getting more serious than ever. Fans shouldn't start buying plane tickets quite yet, but anyone interested ought to keep a close eye on this over the coming weeks.