Masvidal, 32, has a wealth of boxing experience and grew up street fighting in Miami. During his early days in boxing, ‘Gamebred’ got to spar with world class boxers and believes they are several leagues ahead of the best boxers in MMA.
McGregor, the current UFC lightweight champion, might be able to throw Mayweather off with his awkwardness but Masvidal thinks ‘The Notorious’ will be in for a long night once ‘Money’ adjusts and gets his timing down.
“I grew up boxing,” Masvidal told Tom Taylor of BJPenn.com. “My first base was boxing, and I grew up lucky. The gyms that I was at, I got to see a lot of world class boxing at an early, early age. It was just pure luck that the gyms near my house happened to have amazing, amazing talent, whether it was homegrown or Cuban nationals who had won the Olympics, that had won world championships, that had 250 amateur fights and 17 losses. So I got to work with a lot of good guys, and I got to see a lot of good guys work, and I can tell you this. I have never seen anybody in MMA – and this is not to diss my brothers and sisters, because it’s a different spot – I’ve never seen guys that you see in the top-10 of MMA, or the top-5 even, and they’re good strikers, when they do straight boxing with a solid boxer, not even a world-class amateur, just a solid veteran, a lot of times they get mopped up.
“In the first few minutes, the MMA guys sometimes throw off the boxers because it’s a different beat, different stance, and they throw their punches a little different, some of them, compared to straight boxing. So you sometimes see the boxer get clipped up a little bit because he's not used to that rhythm and the angles the punches come from, but once it all sets in and they get the timing, it’s a different ballgame. I’ve seen it many times, so I give Conor barely any chance.”
“In a fight with two guys with their hands up with bad intentions, there’s always a chance – always in a fight,” he said. “You can get beat up for 14 minutes, and at 14:55, you land that one blow that changes the whole fight. Anything can happen to anybody. But those chances are so slim against Mayweather…The only way I can see Mayweather losing is if Mayweather just doesn’t take him seriously at all. If he does like an Anderson Silva, you know – hands straight up and he actually lets him hit him in the chin. But I don’t see Mayweather losing this.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor is set to be the biggest pay-per-view event in combat sports history and is scheduled for August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.