Most combat sports experts agree that UFC star Conor McGregor has no chance to beat undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
The truth is, McGregor has already won.
Four years removed from cashing his final social welfare check in his native Dublin on the eve of his UFC debut, the 29-year-old superstar is set to potentially collect nine figures for stepping into the ring with Mayweather, a five-weight world champion who is considered one of the greatest boxers ever.
It’s a journey that would have been impossible to fathom anywhere but in McGregor’s mind.
That’s exactly where it was conceived.
McGregor is a devotee of the law of attraction, a belief that dramatically increased in popularity last decade with the release of the book and film “The Secret,” which preaches individuals can visualize and believe their way to success. While there is no scientific basis for the theory, it might as well be one of Einstein’s equations to McGregor.
“It is the most powerful thing in the world,” McGregor said. “It is the belief that you are able to create whatever situation that you want for yourself, and no one can take it from you. It is believing something is already yours, and then doing whatever you have to so that it comes true.
“The way I think and the way my mind goes, it is unstoppable. I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but it works.”
When McGregor first started flirting with a crossover bout against Mayweather, the idea was as far-fetched as a plumber’s apprentice quitting his job to pursue an MMA career and becoming the UFC’s biggest star a few years later.
But McGregor had already visualized that belief into reality, and he clearly pictured himself fighting Mayweather for the biggest check ever written to an MMA fighter.
As his star rose, McGregor found ways to keep the storyline alive by occasionally stirring the pot either through interviews or on social media.
Negotiations intensified this year, and another McGregor vision will come to fruition Saturday.
UFC president Dana White was among those who never thought the day would come. He consistently dismissed the possibility of his biggest star stepping outside of his contract for what figures to be the biggest combat sports event in history.
White should have known better. He said McGregor told him before he signed with the UFC that he would become a superstar and win two titles.
It took him barely three years to achieve that. White has learned the lesson. He now even believes McGregor when he says he will knock out Mayweather early in the fight, even though Mayweather has not been knocked down in his 49 fights.
“I am a believer in ‘Mystic Mac’ for sure,” White said. “This kid has done everything he said he would do, and he is claiming that he will knock out Floyd Mayweather within four rounds.
“That is why I call the kid the unicorn. He’s so confident in himself. You sit in a room with Conor for two minutes, and he’ll make you believe, too.”
He doesn’t have to convince the world he can box. Everyone will find out if he can soon enough.
But his plans go far beyond Saturday. He has a vision for the future of combat sports.
“I’m already the king of fighting,” McGregor said. “I’ll be the king of boxing now, also. I’ll get to pick and choose where the fights take place from here on whether it’s in the squared circle or an octagon. I’ll decide. I may dust this fool on Saturday night and change it from neither an octagon nor a ring, but create some brand new hybrid, middle of the ground like half-octagon, half-ring or something. I’ll say, ‘You want to fight me? This is my (expletive) place.’ Maybe that would be nice. We will see.”
Contact Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.