As Conor McGregor looks set to make his UFC comeback in the new year, the Irishman's plans for a blockbuster future meeting with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, have been shot down.
UFC legend Joe Rogan has described McGregor's hopes of fighting the Filipino as foolhardy while speaking on his world-famous podcast.
Having announced his initial retirement from the Octagon back in June, the 32-year-old Dubliner has since had a change of heart, and is set to meet Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23.
McGregor has stated he will use the bout with the former interim lightweight champion as preparation for any fight with Pacquiao, but as Rogan said in the latest episode of his podcast, has doubts for the UFC man.
They’re actually talking about him [Pacquiao] fighting Conor McGregor right now, which is kind of bonkers.
“You’re talking about one of the greatest boxers of all time against a guy with one professional boxing match.”
Referencing his 2017 fight with the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr, McGregor went toe-to-toe with the five-weight champion, before being stopped in round 10 via TKO in Las Vegas.
Since then, McGregor has stated his interest in a return to the ring, and last summer tweeted that he was going to fight Pacquiao in the Middle East.
Pacquiao, 41, has himself turned to politics in his native Phillippines as Senator for the House of Representatives since 2016, but has not yet retired from boxing.
Indeed, only 16 months ago, Pacquiao become the oldest welterweight champion in history, after beating Keith Thurman to claim the WBA title.
Against Mayweather, McGregor more than held his own, and as guest on Rogan's show, US comedian Tony Hinchcliffe claimed that the Irishman could enjoy a measure of success versus the boxing icon.
Rogan however, was quick to dispel such a notion:
“The reason why it was close was because Mayweather let him blow his wad. Look, he clipped Mayweather with a legit left uppercut early in the fight and I was kind of stunned. I was like ‘wow, that’s really legit.'”
“But, Conor is a freak. He is an explosive guy. He’s so fast and there’s no remedy for that other than getting a guy tired. So, what Mayweather was doing was boxing with him but preserving."
"Being safe, got clipped a couple times, realized Conor could punch. Conor can punch, but just drag him into deep water. Drag him into deep water and that’s what a guy like Mayweather will do.”
And so according to Rogan, could Pacquiao.
Regardless, like the Mayweather bout, another cross-sport clash would certainly capture global attention, not least involving the 'Notorious' McGregor.
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