HYDEN’S TAKE: First Thoughts on McGregor vs. Mayweather, plus The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 111

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch columnist

Conor McGregor (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today Sports)


UFC Fight Night 111 was this past weekend from Singapore. Let’s get right to the rundown.

UFC Fight Night 111

GOOD – Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Tarec Saffiedine: RDA was all over Saffiedine with constant pressure. That’s to be expected from Dos Anjos, but Saffiedine did pretty well. It was just that Dos Anjos was in his face nearly the entire fight. RDA picked up the solid decision win, his first at welterweight. Saffiedine has now lost three decisions in a row, and four times in his last five fights. He’ll probably get one more chance to win before the UFC lets him go, but we’ll have to wait to see what happens there.

GOOD/BAD – Colby Covington vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Covington dominated Kim here, which is the GOOD. However, it was really boring, which is the BAD. It was very impressive for Covington to be able to control Kim like he did, as well as the various reversals and counters and such employed by both men. It takes a tremendous amount of skill. It was also very boring. That happens a lot. Kim wasn’t going to lay there and let Covington beat him to a pulp, and Covington wasn’t going to go away from what he does best.
I would have liked to see more aggression from Covington, but then you get into that whole situation of risk/reward. Covington fought smartly. The best thing I can say about this fight is that it was very similar to a lot of Georges St. Pierre’s title defenses. It was clean, clinical, and dominant. It wasn’t exciting, but when you dominate someone like this, you send a message to people. Covington is here to make waves in the welterweight division. He’s making his way towards the top of the division and will pose a threat to many of the guys up there. He’s got areas to improve on, of course, but who doesn’t? Nice win for him here.

GOOD – Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcin Tybura: Tybura came out early and laid a whooping on Arlovski in the first round. He almost finished him, but Arlovski was somehow able to survive. In fact, he won the second round as Tybura tired. In the third round, though, Arlovski faded due to the damage that Tybura inflicted on him earlier and Tybura was able to win that round for the decision victory.
The first round was good, with the later rounds not being as good, but both guys were trying hard so all in all, it was a pretty good fight. Good win for Tybura.

BAD/GOOD – Holly Holm stops Bethe Correia: The finish was exciting, the stuff before wasn’t. It was slow-paced and dull as neither woman was really doing much of anything. I don’t know why Holm seems to be so reluctant to engage at times, but she and Correia both seemed to be in sparring mode for most of the first two rounds. In the third round, Correia started trying to taunt Holm and caught some karma in the face via a Holm kick that flattened her, then Holm finished her with a pinpoint punch. That sequence was really cool, but it’s hard to overcome such lackluster “action” before that. Holm stops her losing skid, but it’s hard to say who’s next for her. If she would just let her hands and feet go more often and press the action, I think she could be one of the top fighters in the division. As it is, she’s more likely to just alternate wins and losses and maybe serve as a gatekeeper. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but she’s certainly capable of more.

McGregor vs. Mayweather: Initial Thoughts

Well, it’s official. Conor McGregor will box Floyd Mayweather on August 26. There’s plenty of time to talk about how badly McGregor will likely look, the possibility of him shocking the world and winning, and all that other stuff later. For now, though, I think it’s safe to say that it’s more likely than not that he’s done with the UFC.

Yeah, he told the UFC that he plans on fighting in the UFC at the end of the year, but people say things they don’t mean all the time. Is McGregor really going to go back to the UFC when they won’t pay him anywhere near what he’s going to get for this fight? His personal value is skyhigh right now. And unless he falls flat on his face and loses in 20 seconds to Mayweather, it’s only to get higher.

Whatever your opinion of him as a person, Floyd Mayweather is one of the best to ever lace them up in a boxing ring. If McGregor shows even a semblance of belonging in there with him, his value goes up. If he wins a round, a single round, it goes through the roof. A boxing neophyte vs. a guy on the list of the all-time greats? This is a colossal mismatch. However, I think he’ll do well enough that McGregor will likely price himself out of reach of what the UFC is willing to pay.

Logically I shouldn’t be so excited for this fight, but I can’t help it. I’m starting to get caught up in the thoughts of it and the excitement. This is Must-See TV at its finest, and the eyes of the world will be on Las Vegas on August 26th.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: HYDEN’S TAKE: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 110 and Demetrious Johnson’s issues with the UFC

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank.

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