Although it was billed as a freak show by hardcore boxing and MMA fans, the Aug. 26 megafight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor was a pleasant surprise to many.
McGregor, who was making his professional boxing debut, actually made the bout somewhat competitive and hung in there for 10 rounds against ‘The Best Ever’.
The combat sports community praised the Irishman, but ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren couldn’t wait for the fight to be over and doesn't see what all the fuss is about.
“I couldn't wait for it to get over," Askren told IBTimes UK in a recent interview. "I was so sick and tired of it. Obviously, they were doing it for one reason only. Everybody knows what it's all about."
Askren, who trains alongside UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, doesn’t think May-Mac did ‘any good’ for either sport but admits it bolstered McGregor’s reputation.
"The fight is just for show. It didn't do any good for both sports. It gave Conor a lot of attention but I do not think it helps MMA as a whole."
‘Funky’ also believes that Mayweather let McGregor have success in the early rounds because he didn’t want to make the UFC lightweight champ ‘look bad’.
"Mayweather let McGregor win those [early] rounds. He is such a great boxer and was definitely going to win but he didn't want McGregor to look bad. So he let McGregor win a few rounds, take it slow and I didn't even feel Mayweather was doing much."
McGregor was finished with a barrage of punches in the 10th round, and the SBG Ireland product is expected to return to the Octagon to defend his lightweight belt.
Askren, 33, will defend his ONE welterweight title later today against Zebaztian Kadestam at ONE Championship Shanghai.