For anyone anxiously awaiting the much-hyped upcoming bout between boxer Floyd Mayweather and MMA fighter Conor McGregor, here’s something you should know: the fight’s already on. In fact, it’s been going for months—things simply haven’t gotten physical yet.
Whatever the outcome when their boxing match happens for real this Saturday, McGregor can at least claim early victory in the pair’s trash-talk war. Like Newton to physics and Galileo to astronomy, the brash MMA fighter’s proving to be a trailblazing pioneer in the savage art of trolling. Lately, he’s been offering comprehensive online courses in the essential foundations of trolling Mayweather, ranging from Trolling 101 to doctorate level Ph.D Dr. Trollsworthy’s teachings.
So let’s watch and learn from the following fine examples of 15 savage times Conor McGregor was the biggest troll.
15 The first cut's the deepest
This isn’t the first time that McGregor trolled Mayweather, but if we were to say that there was a defining moment in his steady stream of vicious trolling assaults upon him, then this incident would be number one.
So what is it about this picture? It’s a shot of McGregor wearing player number 23’s Golden State Warriors jersey. Back in 2010, the player who wore that jersey was C.J. Watson, whom Mayweather had caught sending his girlfriend texts. Floyd’s girlfriend and Watson also reportedly had a side thing going on. Mayweather flew into a rage after discovering the texts and beat his now ex-girlfriend, which landed Mayweather in jail for domestic violence.
This is trolling at its finest because it hits Mayweather on several levels where it must hurt most.
14 Dude, you are old
Once the fight between Mayweather and McGregor was officially agreed upon, McGregor tweeted this picture of himself alongside an image of Floyd Mayweather Sr. (Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s father) to taunt him.
Undefeated world champion Mayweather turned 40 earlier this year and for any athlete (except athletes involved in slower-paced sports such as golf), even a day over 40 is over the hill. Over 40 and you’re on the wrong side of the clock and it’s all a downward spiral from there. Everybody knows how oldies start falling apart and can’t keep up with the young bucks anymore. It’s always a sad and usually pathetic day to see any old champion finally going down.
McGregor’s slightly more than a decade younger than Mayweather Jr. and never misses any opportunity to remind him.
13 Floyd won't duke it out
Floyd Mayweather had, in fact, retired from boxing before the prospect of a match against McGregor and its massive payday enticed him to take mouthpiece McGregor on. According to a quote from The Independent, Mayweather was also determined to make McGregor “eat his words.”
Sometime in February 2017, with Mayweather still in retirement, McGregor was relentlessly goading him to fight. McGregor had traveled to Vegas and tweeted that Floyd had “retired” upon his arrival there. (This particular tweet was in response to a Mayweather tweet stating that he was “happily retired and enjoying (his) life"). McGregor was in no way prepared to help Mayweather “enjoy” his retirement. In fact, he seemed determined to drive him out of it so they could battle it out in the ring.
12 Old man at the gym
McGregor returns to the familiar tune he repeats like a broken record here that Mayweather’s old. He’ll be six feet under before you know it and pushing up daisies.
In this tweet, McGregor pretends to mistake a picture of Mayweather Jr. for Mayweather Sr. Ouch. This guy never stops trying to find ways to mess with Mayweather’s head. He wants to fill it with ideas like he’s gonna need a cane to get around the ring with him come August 26. A cane, a walker and maybe a wheelchair. Look, his hair’s already fallen out. That’s a sign of advanced age sometimes. Has McGregor pointed that out yet? Maybe we shouldn’t give him ideas. It’s not like he needs our ideas, though. He’s doing just fine on his own.
11 A Twitter KO
Pwnd! Remember that? Here’s McGregor pwning Floyd back in January when Floyd, still in retirement and not yet officially agreeing to any fights, was quoted in the media as saying he’d pay McGregor $15 million. Now that their battle’s the real deal and about to go down, that figure’s been greatly inflated with this match now hyped as a “billion dollar bout.” Even back in January, when their showdown was a mere glint in McGregor’s eye, a $15 million paycheck would have been an insult.
Many of Mayweather's clapbacks at McGregor have to do with UFC Champion McGregor’s inferior earnings; while here, in response, McGregor returns to his repetitive theme of C.J. Watson, and the mere mention of that guy’s name always means he's sticking it to Floyd big time.
10 See those pinstripes on McGregor's suit?
This picture represents Doctor of Trollology-level trolling. Dr. Trollsworth at his most masterful and expert best is at work here showing us all how it’s really done. See McGregor’s suit? From afar, those look like the mere decorative pinstripes of a dapper and dandy blazer, but if you look closely, you’ll see woven into the blasted fabric, an endless stitched stream of “f*ck you(s)” intended, naturally, as a direct message for Floyd. How diabolical is that? Let us take a moment now to bow to this king of trolls and his skilled and wily tailor. Words fail us at this coup de grace of ultimate trolling mastery. Let us all raise our goblets in honor here and toast our most revered and accomplished trollmaster, Conor McGregor!
9 Dissing Mike Tyson
We don't know about you, but we’d rather not get on Mike Tyson's bad side. He's a former heavyweight boxing champion considered by some boxing enthusiasts to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Conor McGregor’s not afraid to get on Tyson’s bad side. Are we surprised? Not at all.
In this tweet, McGregor references Don King, a somewhat shady and often controversial figure who was Tyson’s former manager. King was responsible for promoting some of the most historic heavyweight bouts of all time, including the “Rumble in the Jungle” and “Thrilla in Manila,” both matches featuring boxing great Muhammad Ali.
The dig here is that King allegedly defrauded many of his clients including Tyson who sued King for $100 million, hence the “money is mine” reference.
8 McGregor's "filthy Irish animal" mural
This is McGregor demonstrating a more subtle method of trolling. Here, it’s like an art piece where one needs to stand back and contemplate the image for a few moments to take it all in and make sense of its inherent savagery.
This isn’t McGregor’s usual outright practice of calling Floyd an old man, or wearing C.J. Watson’s jersey to taunt Mayweather for being a cuckold, or wearing his “f*ck you” pinstripe suit to a promotional event. This is art gallery installment trollery. It’s subtle. You maybe have to look a bit harder for the message, but if you study the prominent background mural decorating the walls of McGregor’s gym that he’s seen standing before here, it depicts him delivering a knockout punch to Mayweather’s face.
7 Eye of the tiger
According to news.com.au, McGregor’s known for making “wild predictions about his fights that often wind up being true.” He’s made all kinds of predictions about this one, like Floyd will go down within two rounds and McGregor claims to be “struggling” to even give Mayweather that long.
Here, McGregor’s apparently applied the philosophy of Feng Shui to his training gym, strategically situating his punching bags directly under the portion of his gym’s wall mural where Floyd’s taking McGregor’s left-handed knockout punch.
The meaning of McGregor’s caption here, “tunnel vision,” is that he’s solely focused on delivering that knockout punch to Mayweather when the fight takes place for real. It could happen, some say, as McGregor’s most devastating skill in his fighting arsenal are his boxing skills.
6 Put your money where your mouth is, Floyd
This Instagram post is from May 2017 before the proposed Mayweather/McGregor fight became official. It represents more of McGregor (with his social media handle @thenotoriousmma) demonstrating his typical day-to-day goading of Mayweather. This is just some garden variety trolling for McGregor. Trolling basics 101: how to stay in your opponent’s head.
McGregor’s like a schoolyard instigator here, implying “how about it, chicken?” He’s showing four-decades-old Floyd that he’s hard at work training. McGregor’s letting Mayweather know that he’ll be ready to fight when the time comes and all Floyd he has to do is sign on the dotted line to make it happen. “Sign your end Floyd or you are just a mouth.” Yeah, Floyd. Sign up and don’t let your mouth write cheques that your body can’t cash.
5 To quote villainous Ivan Drago from 'Rocky IV':
This tweet from early July 2017 was accompanied by one of McGregor’s training videos which he posts regularly for fans and followers…and of course for Mayweather to watch him work in all his sweaty, hard-bodied glory. It’s like McGregor’s constantly saying, “look how hard I’m working to knock you out, Floyd.”
For any Rocky movie fans out there, you’ll recognize this caption accompanying McGregor’s video as a quote from Rocky IV ‘s villain, the icy cold, robotic-like fighting machine Ivan Drago who reveals there’s a gaping black hole where his heart should be at the beginning of Rocky IV, when he’s knocking the bloody hell out of fictional champ Apollo Creed, and Drago coldly and indifferently says of Creed during the brutal match: “If he dies, he dies."
4 "I am built to run through people"
This is more of McGregor trolling to keep on top of staying in Mayweather’s head. It’s fine that McGregor claims that he’s “built to run through people” but when he gets in the ring to battle Mayweather, he won’t be running through him, they’ll be boxing. Although boxing’s considered to be McGregor’s greatest fighting skill, MMA fighters don’t strictly box in their regular bouts. There are other techniques in their fighting arsenal (like kicks) which won’t be allowed in this match against Mayweather.
Mayweather’s promotor, Leonard Ellerbe, (quoted from news.com.au) predicts that Mayweather will make quick work of McGregor despite all of McGregor’s beefed up alpha male trash talk posturing: “The fight is going to end in a knockout, I’m very confident,” Ellerbe said. “And it will probably be early.”
3 It sounds like McGregor might be suffering from gigantism of the fist
“I sleep people.” What’s that even mean? It means that McGregor typically defeats opponents with his signature left-handed knockout punch. In an interview with GQ magazine published in February 2017, McGregor talked about Floyd’s small head relative to his oversized fist: “(Mayweather’s) a little…he's got a little head on him. Honestly, my fist is bigger than his head. I sleep people. I put people unconscious. I'm stating facts. If I hit that man, his head is gonna go into the bleachers. You understand that? If I crack that little head of his, it's gonna go clean off his shoulders and up into the bleachers.”
So here’s McGregor’s trolling prediction for the fight’s outcome: he’s gonna decapitate Mayweather with his bare hands. How much will people pay to see that?
2 McGregor claims Las Vegas as his city
“Saturday night’s all right for fighting,” (according to an Elton John song) and come next week, it’ll be fight night in Vegas. Back in February 2017, McGregor visited Vegas and trolled Mayweather via Instagram, posting the above shot with the caption: “Enjoying my city Las Vegas.” But will he be able to make it his city? Odds are against McGregor. For all the MMA fighter’s trash talking, he’s the underdog.
Sports pundits predict that boxing gloves, with all their padding, will diminish McGregor’s left-handed punching power. McGregor’s accustomed to fighting with regulation UFC gloves which are barer-fisted and pack a greater wallop. He’ll also have to face more punches coming from Mayweather than he’s used to dealing with, and potentially a longer battle as well, as boxing matches tend to run longer than MMA bouts.
1 On pounding Floyd's tiny, fist-sized head into the canvas
This above quote references a glove rule announced in early August 2017 about the weight of gloves to be used. McGregor paints a fairly violent picture of what he’d like to do to Floyd during their match, given the chance.
Overall, McGregor has less to lose here. He’s younger, not as well-known in North America as Mayweather, and while very well-established in his fighting discipline, MMA’s a fairly newly recognized official sport that can’t yet rival boxing’s storied and sentimental heritage because it simply doesn’t have the same lengthy history to draw upon.
In the end, no matter what happens, Conor McGregor’s tasted sweet and savage victory through his trolling of Floyd Mayweather during the pair’s ongoing trash talking war leading up to Saturday night’s epic fight. May the best man win.