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White: If Floyd doesn’t make fight a ‘track meet,’ McGregor could be ‘biggest star in sports ever’

The UFC President is setting a new tone for Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming bout with Conor McGregor, putting the onus on the boxing superstar not to run away in the ring.

MMA: UFC 205-McGregor vs Alvarez Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The goal posts for Conor McGregor’s success against Floyd Mayweather are being moved, little by little. At a recent marketing event titled “Survival of the Fittest,” the UFC announced plans to introduce more live stats in-fight, using sensors embedded in gloves and shorts to give MLB style live punch speed numbers. The goal, as reported by the NYPost, is to help illustrate “just how tough fighters are.”

And it seems that the upcoming Mayweather vs. McGregor boxing/MMA superfight could become a talking point on MMA fighter toughness for the UFC brass. While at the event, UFC president Dana White didn’t lay out an argument for why Conor McGregor would beat Floyd Mayweather, but he did lay out his ideas of why McGregor might lose. From the sound of things, it’d be because Floyd isn’t willing to stand and fight him.

“If McGregor knocks him out, he will be the biggest star in sports ever,” White said. “If Floyd runs away from him and it turns into a track meet, well we’ll see what happens.”

White told the audience that the toughest fighters were household names across the globe. “The most famous athletes in the world have been the toughest,” he said, naming Bruce Lee and Mike Tyson. “How many people can name a famous cricket player?” he asked the crowd, adding that NFL isn’t popular in Europe.

Nevermind that Floyd Mayweather became one of boxing’s biggest stars off the back of his defense-first fighting style. Or, that there are plenty of athletic superstars outside the realm of contact sports (let alone combat sports). More notably, White seems to be setting up one of several potential ways that McGregor’s performance could be championed, even with a one-sided loss to Mayweather.

If Floyd Mayweather won’t go toe-to-toe with Conor McGregor, in the eyes of fans, he’ll have lost already. At least that’s the message the UFC seems prepared to deliver. And as August 26th creeps closer, expect that message to get delivered a lot more often.