How would an MMA trainer prepare Floyd Mayweather?

From ESPN - March 21, 2018

If Floyd Mayweather is to be believed, his transition into mixed martial arts remains a real possibility.

The retired boxer told TMZ this week he intends apply for an MMA license -- and has mentioned a potential time frame of six to eight months before entering the Octagon.

Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) has also stated he plans on working with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who has confirmed those plans. Woodley told ESPN the preparations will take place in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

If this proves to be true, what will that look like exactly? How does one prepare a 41-year-old boxer for his first UFC fight -- in six months?

ESPN asked several MMA coaches how they would prepare Mayweather for an MMA fight, and whether they believe he will actually go through with it.

Firas Zahabi, Tristar MMA

First, I would try to talk him out of it. Honestly. I would sit him down and say, "Listen, man. I know I can make a lot of money training you, but I want to talk you out of it." If that did not work, I would bring him to practice and put him through the ropes, and try to gently convince him not to fight MMA. So I would try to stop him two ways: verbally and physically. And if he still wants to fight after that, I would train him wholeheartedly, because I would believe he's all in.

Basics of wrestling, kicking and jiu-jitsu. That's all you can do. Just learning the basics will take longer than six months. I would say, "These guys are going to kick you," and let him adapt, see how he reacts. And I would make sure nobody hurts him during that. Instead of giving him an answer, let him experiment -- and let him do it without getting hurt.

Honestly, I do not see it. I would love to see him fight but not against an opponent who would just crush him. What's the point of that? A better fight for Mayweather is to fight Georges St-Pierre in boxing. Fight GSP in boxing. That will be another night for him in the spotlight. If he goes to MMA, he will have the spotlight again, but he will just get hurt doing it.

Javier Mendez, American Kickboxing Academy

He would need to be able to counter-wrestle. I would not put any barriers on him, but I would definitely say time is of the essence. I have never seen it happen yet, where someone comes in and is a killer right off the bat. And in cases close to that, they need incredible power.

You know someone who would have been good at MMA right off the bat? Mike Tyson. His style would have been a wrecking machine. His stance was lower, he was not that tall, any punch he lands is nice out. He'd be dangerous after six months of training. Floyd's boxing style is horrible for MMA. Horrible. You'd have to completely switch his style. But he's a great athlete, so if he decided to do that, he could.

I do not believe he will take an MMA fight. I believe he will fight Conor in another boxing match -- that I will watch. That's what makes sense to me. Where else can he make the kind of money he wants? He wo not be able to make it in MMA unless he's willing to start 0-1. And his ego is way too big to accept defeat.

Jimmy Gifford, Las Vegas striking coach

That boxing stance he's got, he's gonna eat kicks. And he's never felt anything like that. Changing that stance up is a tough go. I would not spend too much time on wrestling, per se. You are not gonna shoot a takedown. He's gotta learn how to get up and anti-wrestle, and he's gotta learn how to check leg kicks.

He's pretty flat-footed, left hand down, right hand up -- it's very hard to parry and catch punches with small gloves. The way he catches punches and shoulder rolls -- those gloves are 4-ounce sleeping pills, you ai not shoulder rolling gloves like that.

If you said to me, "Mike Tyson in his prime is going to try MMA," that's a different animal. I do not think it's a real good fit, MMA and Floyd.


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