With the mixed martial arts versus boxing, Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather, bout announced, and the millions on the line revealed, it’s already clear who the favorite is to take the spoils. Floyd Mayweather, despite being 40 years old and retired since 2015, comes in as the heavy favorite against the 28-year-old mixed martial artist. It makes sense, especially as Mayweather forged his legacy on his counter-attacking prowess, but the two-weight UFC champion appears to be underestimated.

McGregor’s Undervalued Talents

Conor McGregor may have never competed in a meaningful boxing match, but the Irishman is most certainly a very skilled fighter. In the UFC, McGregor has shown that he’s not just a one-dimensional fighter and that he can adapt his tactics and style to suit the opponent in front of him.

However, in mixed martial arts fights, the contestants can utilize many different fighting styles to get a win, whereas in boxing strikes can only be landed via the fists. This certainly limits McGregor, but not as much as one would assume. The Irishman is accustomed to dealing outstanding strikes – not all of which are punches – with 80 percent of his successful strikes coming while on his feet, according to the UFC website.

The UFC star also has a slight physical advantage on his upcoming opponent, with an extra two inches in reach, standing at the same height. He’s also a very powerful puncher. In the sport which usually dons his name, strikes need to be worthwhile and have an impact, whereas in boxing stamina can be key, especially against Mayweather. It’s possible that McGregor’s gung-ho nature could get the best of the defensive American, but it could equally burn him out, with him not being accustomed to the extended time in the ring.

Mayweather is expected to not only defeat McGregor but to do it within the distance. This is in spite of the former welterweight champion not having knocked anyone out since 2011 – seven fights ago. On the flip side, McGregor hasn’t got a single loss from being knocked out on his mixed martial arts record, with submissions – a method not applicable in boxing – being his only way of losing. McGregor himself has 18 of his 21 victories via knockout, the majority of which came via punches, and yet he’s +450 to win via technical knockout or knockout in the boxing odds on Paddy Power.

Can McGregor Topple the Odds?

With experience on his side and his specialty in defense, Floyd Mayweather is the favorite for a good reason in this fight, especially if it goes into the late rounds. Conor McGregor, however, does stand a fighting chance.

The Irishman is at the peak of his powers, hitting his physical prime, and knows what it takes to win. McGregor will be training very hard for this huge fight, exploring any potential weakness in his opponent, whereas Mayweather may underestimate his inexperienced challenger. If McGregor takes the fight to Mayweather and manages to breach his defense or cause some early damage, he could very well walk away as the victor.

Conor McGregor is the underdog by many counts, but he’s a very dangerous one nonetheless.

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