weather icon Clear

Conor McGregor wants to play guessing game with Floyd Mayweather

It stands to reason that the biggest obstacle facing UFC star Conor McGregor in his boxing debut against undefeated Floyd Mayweather is his lack of experience. But McGregor said he thinks that could be his biggest asset because he will be so unpredictable.

“You can’t prepare for me,” McGregor said this month at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. “You can’t. You can’t prepare for the movement. You can’t prepare for any of it. He can sit here and watch my workouts, and I’m sure he has. Let him watch. Let him try and study. You cannot prepare for me. There’s nobody in the game that moves like me, that strikes like me. I’m confident in that.”

McGregor’s confidence never has been questioned.

He has correctly predicted dominance in fight after fight throughout his mixed martial arts career, rising from obscurity to two-division UFC champion in less than four years.

Now, he will enter Mayweather’s realm as he challenges one of the best boxers in history Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

He believes he will conquer boxing that night and change the sport forever.

“Will it be unusual to everyone watching and to Floyd? Of course,” McGregor said. “But that’s not my problem. They will study it after it’s done.”

Mayweather, the unretiring five-weight world champion, is unfazed. While he points out McGregor is younger, taller, has a longer reach and possesses an edge in power, he adds he has experience and fight IQ.

Critics point out he has struggled with southpaws. Mayweather reminds them he is undefeated.

He has been boxing for so long that he already thinks he knows McGregor’s game plan.

“He’s going to come out, and he’s going to keep switching. He’s going to keep switching,” Mayweather said this month at his gym in central Las Vegas. “I know what he’s going to do. I already know — come out southpaw, then he’s going to switch the other way. He’s going to keep switching. When you keep switching, all you’re doing is burning energy.”

Whether it’s gamesmanship, hype or bravado, both fighters insist they will come forward and bring the action to the center of the ring. Mayweather says he wants to atone for the disappointment fans felt after his win over Manny Pacquiao in a lackluster bout. McGregor wants to utilize his power.

He also thinks a combination of aggression and unpredictability can put Mayweather on his heels for one of the first times in his storied career.

“It forces a man to react off of my creation,” McGregor said. “He’s not creating his own setup. He’s simply going to be reacting, and when you’re reacting instead of creating, you’re in trouble. Then factor in the power and the precision. It’s not going to end well for Floyd, and it’s not going to end well for all the people who are doubting me and are so convinced that this is what it is.

“I’m just looking forward to postfight educating the entire world once again.”

That’s a class for which the boxing world might not be prepared.

More boxing: Follow all of our boxing coverage online at reviewjournal.com/boxing and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
UFC president says McGregor-Nurmagomedov rematch is the fight to make
After Conor McGregor's first-round demolition of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, UFC president Dana White said a rematch between "The Notorious" and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is the fight to make next. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 246 Ceremonial Weigh-In Staredowns - VIDEO
The UFC 246 fight card, featuring a welterweight main event between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone, is official, minus one planned bout. In place of Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso, a bantamweight bout between Brian Kelleher and Ode' Osbourne will move up to the pay-per-view main card. All fighters competing on the card faced off during the ceremonial weigh-ins at The Park Theater.
McGregor: "All their eyes are lighting up when 'The Notorious' name is mentioned" - VIDEO
Conor McGregor says he knows that other fighter's eyes light up at the chance of facing him as it usually means a dramatic increase in pay. Welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman spoke about why they'd face McGregor next and Donald Cerrone explained how he's affected his payday for UFC 246. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Conor McGregor says he'd be honored to be the first to fight at Allegiant Stadium
Maycee Barber Doing All She Can to Become the UFC's Youngest Champion - VIDEO
As 21-year-old Maycee Barber begins her quest to become the youngest champion in the UFC, she must first face a competitor in women's flyweight Roxanne Modafferi - a veteran of the sport who is often regarded as one of the pioneers of women's mixed martial arts. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 246- Media Day Staredowns
With UFC 246 fight week underway, fighters from five featured bouts, including the co-main event women's bantamweight contest between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington, faced off at media day in Las Vegas. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 246 Press Conference: McGregor vs. Cerrone Highlights and Staredown - VIDEO
Ahead of their welterweight bout at UFC 246 on Jan. 18, Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone were respectful of one another, despite having traded barbs close to four years ago at another press conference. Their bout will serve as the five-round main event at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC Champ Usman "Love and Unity Does Win Sometimes"
Kamaru Usman retained the UFC welterweight title when he knocked out Colby Covington in the fifth round of their title bout at UFC 245. After a heated lead-up to their bout, Usman says sometimes love and unity wins. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UFC 245 Ceremonial Weigh-in Staredowns
Here are the staredowns from the ceremonial weigh-in featuring all fighters competing at the UFC 245 fight card on Dec. 14 at the T-Mobile Arena. There are three title fights on the main card with the main event featuring a middleweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal).
Kamaru Usman explains the origin of the Colby Covington rivalry ahead of UFC 245
Ahead of their welterweight title fight, division champion Kamaru Usman explains where the rivalry with his opponent, Colby Covington originated and discusses what he thinks about the challenger's persona. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covington: I enjoy the boos, that gives me extra inspiration
UFC welterweight title challenger Colby Covington discusses his upcoming fight taking place on Dec. 14 at the T-Mobile Arena against Kamaru Usman and says he is fueled by those who boo him at events. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Anthony Joshua beats Andy Ruiz, reclaims heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight titles Sunday by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. on points in their rematch in the first title fight to be staged in the Middle East.