Why a potential Floyd Mayweather bout would likely be Conor McGregor's last fight

If Conor McGregor fights Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match, it’s a good bet he’ll never fight again after that.

And, no, to all of you cynics and wise guys, it won’t be because of the way the fight goes. Rather, if the fight ever happens, it would almost certainly price McGregor out of any future UFC fight.

McGregor is the UFC lightweight champion, a belt he won on Nov. 12 in New York when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to, at that point, become the first man ever to hold two weight-class titles simultaneously in the UFC.

He shares the record of the largest UFC guarantee ($3 million) with former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. He made far more than that for the win over Alvarez when his pay-per-view cut and other revenue streams are included. It’s more likely he surpassed $10 million when all is said and done, though the UFC doesn’t release that information.

UFC president Dana White, who made McGregor and Mayweather $25 million offers for the fight recently, has interest in the bout because it would be, well, big business.

It’s a bout that could hit 3 million on pay-per-view, which would leave it as the second-highest selling match ever. Only the 2015 bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, which did 4.6 million, is higher.

Connor McGregor has pulled no punches in prodding Floyd Mayweather on social media. (Getty)

Connor McGregor has pulled no punches in prodding Floyd Mayweather on social media. (Getty)

The UFC’s pay-per-view model is dramatically different than boxing’s, and it relies on the quality of the undercard a lot more than boxing. That said, there are few bouts imaginable for McGregor in the UFC that would seem to be able to net 2 million or more buys.

Take a look at the potential contenders:

• The winner of the March 4 bout for the interim lightweight belt between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. That would seem to be a bout that tops out at around a million sales, and it would be dependent upon a loaded undercard.

• Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley would make for a big fight with McGregor because of the historic nature of the bout. McGregor would be bidding to become the first three-weight division champion in the sport’s history. If that occurred, it would do massive business, and a safe guess would be somewhere in the area of 1.5 million to 1.75 million.

• A rubber match with Nate Diaz would seem to mean another 1.5 million sales at the minimum, but it’s a long way from there to 2 million.

• A rematch with Jose Aldo, whom McGregor knocked out in 13 seconds to win the featherweight title at UFC 194 in 2015, would excite the hardcore fans. But it wouldn’t have the widespread appeal and would most likely come in around 1 million or so.

• A bout with Georges St-Pierre would be epic and could threaten 2 million. St-Pierre was one of the most popular stars in the sport’s history before his 2013 retirement, but the fight itself wouldn’t likely be that appealing. St-Pierre would likely use his wrestling to keep McGregor on the ground. But giving their drawing power, this would likely do 1.5 million sales, maybe a bit more.

Is there anyone else who is realistic to match him with who would do big business? Probably not.

So those are your choices for McGregor post-Mayweather.

Given that McGregor could make as much as $75 million from a Mayweather fight when all is said and done, what incentive would he have to come back on the normal UFC pay scale? Very little.

It would cost a lot to get him back into the cage, and it would come at a price that would probably be so steep as to be unrealistic for the UFC.

WME/IMG’s $4 billion purchase of the company means that, in many ways, the UFC is now owned by banks. The UFC’s new ownership is heavily in debt and needs to pay off the loans. That’s a significant reason why large portions of the UFC staff have been laid off.

So it makes little sense for the company to then pay a fighter so much money for one bout that it will guarantee a significant financial loss.

Plus, there is the very legitimate question as to whether McGregor would even be interested in fighting again should he meet Mayweather. There would be no other fight out there for him that would pay him remotely close to what he would make for facing Mayweather.

He’s already banked significant money from his last four bouts, with wins over Aldo, Diaz and Alvarez and a loss at UFC 196 to Diaz. Add to that whatever he would make – and it will be significant – and he won’t be lacking for money for the rest of his life.

It would be an incredible story for a guy who in 2013 was on public assistance to be so financially well off four or so years later that he could retire, but that’s what is setting up to occur.

It’s still hard to see the fight being made, but it’s got a lot better of a shot of happening now than it ever has.

And if it does happen, it’s likely to be the fight we’ll look back on as the one that pushed McGregor out of the UFC for good.

Floyd Mayweather could make a lot of money fighting an inferior opponent in Conor McGregor. (Getty)

Floyd Mayweather could make a lot of money fighting an inferior opponent in Conor McGregor. (Getty)

Thatcher Demko to wear awesome glow-in-the-dark pad set in AHL (Video)

Utica Comets / YouTube

Utica Comets / YouTube

When the AHL’s Utica Comets host the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday it will be “Save of the Day Night,” benefiting the Thea Bowman House, which helps low-income, at-risk children and families in the city.

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For the game the Comets will be donning some sweet specialty jerseys that will remind you of the 2015 NHL All-Star game design. Goaltender Thatcher Demko is getting into the act and will don a great looking pad set, designed by Brian’s, that glows in the dark.

The jerseys will be raffled and auctioned off during the weekend, while there will be three separate live auctions involving Demko’s gear with the jersey, socks and pant shell in one; the pads, glove and blocker in another; and his mask up for bid by itself.

We’ve seen glow-in-the-dark goalie gear before, like Ben Bishop’s mask, but with Demko going all-in with a complete set matching the Comets’ jerseys, we give it a big thumbs up. It’ll look great on the ice, at least in the few minutes before puck drops for each period. Or in the next Tron movie.

Stick-tap Ryan Biech

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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The Patriots reach into their bag of tricks, hit a flea flicker for a touchdown

The New England Patriots always seem to have the right play call for the right moment.

A couple years ago, Julian Edelman’s receiver pass to Danny Amendola was a huge turning point in a comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens in a divisional round game. The Patriots got tricky again in Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tom Brady handed off to Dion Lewis, who turned and pitched it back to Brady. The handoff to Lewis froze the Steelers’ secondary, and Chris Hogan ran free to the end zone for a wide-open 34-yard touchdown.

It was a great call, and great execution by Hogan to act like he was blocking and then turn on the speed on a deep route. It gave the Patriots a 17-6 lead. Hogan had seven catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns after that catch, and it was just the second quarter.

The Patriots went 14-2 in the regular season, and were clearly one of the best teams in football. But it doesn’t hurt to have a well-timed trick play every once in a while.

Chris Hogan caught a flea flicker touchdown from Tom Brady against the Steelers. (AP)

Chris Hogan caught a flea flicker touchdown from Tom Brady against the Steelers. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

College basketball weekend winners and losers: Arizona headlines busy Saturday

Allonzo Trier and Arizona were the biggest winners of the weekend. (Getty)

Allonzo Trier and Arizona were the biggest winners of the weekend. (Getty)

It wasn’t exactly a memorable two days of college basketball. There were no earth-shattering upsets, no crazy buzzer-beaters, and no tripping controversies.

There were, though, two games between top 20 teams, one of which produced the most consequential result of the weekend. And up and down a crowded Saturday slate, there were plenty of teams that pulled out significant victories or slumped to damaging defeats, and plenty of players who stood out as individuals.

Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers from the weekend in college hoops:

WINNERS

Arizona — A whirlwind 24 hours for the Wildcats began when the NCAA notified the program that Allonzo Trier’s latest drug test had come back negative. It ended with Trier on the court for the first time this season, and with Arizona outscoring UCLA, which is about as tough a task as there is in college basketball. The Wildcats are the new Pac-12 favorites.

Baylor — The Big 12 has a stronger, more balanced and more fluid second and third tier than any other conference, which makes almost every single road trip a treacherous one. Baylor had one of those trips this weekend, at resurgent TCU. The Bears were only 2-point favorites. Yet they came away with a quietly impressive 62-53 win, and further distanced themselves from that disastrous night in Morgantown two weeks ago.

Duke’s bench — The Blue Devils had an ugly first half against Miami. They scored 0.69 points per possession, and trailed 36-25 at halftime in an extremely physical game. To open the second period, Jeff Capel, coaching in place of Mike Krzyzewski, made the bold decision to go with three reserves — Frank Jackson, Matt Jones and Marques Bolden — in place of usual starters Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard and Harry Giles. The move couldn’t have worked out better. Those three, and Jones in particular, led Duke on a 22-1 run to open the half. The bench guys combined for 17 of the 22 points, and Jones himself contributed 11 on 3-for-3 from deep and 4-for-4 from the field. The second unit, playing alongside Amile Jefferson and Jayson Tatum, changed the game, and Duke went on to win 70-58.

Wisconsin’s big three — The Badgers trekked west for a rivalry game at Minnesota, and came away with a 78-76 overtime victory thanks to their three most talented players. Ethan Happ was the best of the three, and his stat line was dizzying: 28 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks. Nigel Hayes also had a nice game, and then Bronson Koenig, who had been quiet in the second half, drilled two go-ahead three-pointers in overtime, the second of which put Wisconsin ahead for good with 44 seconds left.

Indiana’s backcourt — The Hoosiers have been decimated by injuries; OG Anunoby is out for the season, Juwan Morgan has missed the past two games, and Collin Hartman has missed the entire season after undergoing knee surgery in September. Without those three, the onus has been on the backcourt to carry the Hoosiers, and for the second straight game, James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson have done that. Three days after his buzzer-beater to defeat Penn State, Blackmon Jr. put up 33 on just 16 shots to lead Indiana to a crucial 82-75 win over Michigan State.

Marcus KeeneHe’s 5-foot-9, he leads Division I in scoring, and he became the first D-I player to score 50 points since 2013 in Central Michigan’s 101-92 victory over Miami (OH).

Iowa State — With Jordan Woodard back from injury, Oklahoma is suddenly part of that aforementioned class of dangerous Big 12 teams. That’s why Iowa State’s 92-87 double-overtime win in Norman was notable. It’s not a résumé win because the Sooners were so bad in non-conference play, but it was nonetheless important for a Cyclones team.

LOSERS

West Virginia — Can the Mountaineers win games if they don’t win the turnover battle? They haven’t shown the ability to do so in Big 12 play, and didn’t Saturday at Kansas State.

Florida — The Gators’ loss at South Carolina on Wednesday was understandable; their 68-66 loss to Vanderbilt at home was just the opposite. Florida’s résumé prior to Saturday had been built on avoiding bad losses. So much for that.

Texas Tech — There are many ways to state your case for the NCAA Tournament. Losing to Oklahoma State — the same Oklahoma State that was previously winless in the Big 12 — at home by 19 is not one of them.

Texas A&M clock operators — Georgia had the ball down one in College Station with the shot clock turned off. With 5.6 seconds to play — poof! — off went the game clock too. It got stuck at 5.6 as Georgia tried to find a potential game-winning shot. The Bulldogs eventually did, and Yante Maten was fouled a few feet from the rim. But after the refs recognized the clock problem and reviewed the play, they ruled that the clock would have hit zeros before the foul had it not malfunctioned. Georgia felt hard done by, but, by rule, it was the correct decision. The doesn’t excuse the clock issue, though, which was apparently the result of a “belt pack malfunction” — whatever that means.

In the end, Georgia, a bubble team, was the real loser here.

Clemson — There are a lot of reasons to think Clemson is actually a pretty good team. The Tigers were a possession away from beating full-strength North Carolina a few weeks ago, are a top 40 KenPom team, and had six top-100 non-conference wins, including a road victory at South Carolina. The overtime loss to Carolina, however, was the first of six losses in a row. The latest came Sunday, at home against Virginia Tech. Brad Brownell’s team will have opportunities in the loaded ACC, but at 1-6 in conference play, they’re now playing catch-up.

NC State — Wake Forest and NC State played what was essentially an NCAA Tournament elimination game Saturday in Raleigh, even in early January. And the Wolfpack, despite having a future lottery pick at point guard, fell flat at home in a 93-88 loss. They’re 2-5 in the ACC, are underwhelming for the second-straight year, and Mark Gottfried’s seat is sizzling.

Washington — Speaking of teams with superstar point guards who play embarrassing defense… Washington gave up 94 points to Utah, and is now 9-10 on the season. How, you ask? This defensive possession probably gives you a pretty good idea:

No. 15 Noah Dickerson’s “help” defense is as laughably bad as it gets.

Most successful brothers in NHL history

Henrik Sedin added another impressive milestone to his resume Friday when he notched his 1,000 career point - a goal assisted by brother Daniel. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Henrik Sedin added another impressive milestone to his resume Friday when he notched career point No. 1,000 on a goal assisted by brother Daniel. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

With a swift move to the backhand and a display of that soft Swedish touch, Vancouver Canucks centre Henrik Sedin slid a gorgeous goal past former teammate and good friend Roberto Luongo for his 1,000 career NHL point Friday night. What made it most fitting was that his brother Daniel, as he always seems to do, made the pass across for the primary assist on his twin’s milestone tally.

The goal was Henrik’s 11th of the season and No. 233 of his career, to go along with 767 assists over 1,213 games with the Canucks. Brother Daniel’s helper on Henrik’s benchmark goal was the 968th point of his career, leaving him just 32 back of joining his brother in the 1,000-point club. There’s no doubt that Daniel and Henrik Sedin are two of the most skilled and productive brothers to ever hit the ice, and so in honour of Friday’s milestone, we recall some of the other memorable siblings in hockey history:

Scott and Rob Niedermayer

Scott is one of the greatest NHL defenceman of all time and among the most decorated, too — having won nearly every major championship from junior, to the NHL, and international format. The elder Niedermayer put up 740 points in over 1,200 NHL games while his brother Rob was one of the best away-from-the-puck forwards of the 1990s and 2000s. Like his slightly older brother, Rob is a former top-five draft pick, who tallied 469 points over parts of 17 NHL seasons. These two also share the unique experience of competing against each other in a Stanley Cup final (2003) while winning one together as members of the 2007 Anaheim Ducks.

Sutter Brothers

Six (yes, six) Sutter brothers migrated from their Alberta farm to have solid NHL careers. Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich, and Ron combined to play 4,994 NHL games, collectively compiling 1,320 goals, 2,934 point,s and 7,224 penalty minutes. Brent went on to have the most productive playing career of the bunch, scoring 829 points over 1111 NHL games, while Darryl would eventually experience huge success off the ice – coaching the Los Angeles Kings to a pair of Stanley Cup titles (2012, 2014). The Sutters are truly the first family of hockey, as from 1976 to 2001 there was (at least) one Sutter active in the NHL.

Stastny Brothers

1998 Season: The Stastny Brothers. (Photo by Brian Miller/Getty Images)

Marian, Peter, and Anton are known as much for their contributions to the game off the ice as they are for their magnificent talent and production on it. Anton and Peter’s well-told defection helped lay the groundwork for future stars from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union to pursue their NHL dreams. Marian joined his brothers in Quebec for the 1981-82 season, and in their four seasons together with the Nordiques, they combined for a massive 1,029 points. Peter went on to have the most productive NHL career, as his 1,239 points over 977 career games helped get him inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998.

Phil and Tony Esposito

2004 Season: The Esposito brothers during their playing days And Player Phil Esposito. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Phil Esposito’s 1,590 career points currently ranks 10th on the NHL’s all-time list. Though he also spent time with the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers throughout his career, the eldest Esposito really made his mark in Boston, where he put up at least 125 points in six of his eight full seasons with the Bruins. Tony, meanwhile, spent his entire career with the Blackhawks, posting 76 shutouts and a sub-3.00 goals against average over 15 seasons and 886 games. Though they never got to compete on the same NHL team together, the Espositos are the only skater/goalie brother combination in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Maurice and Henri Richard

Maurice “Rocket” Richard was the first player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal mark and finished with 965 career points over 18 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. Henri Richard, affectionately known as the “Pocket Rocket”, was 15 years younger than Maurice but actually outscored his older brother during his illustrious career, finishing with 1,046 points in more than 1,200 games.The two were teammates on the Canadiens from 1955 to 1960 where, incredibly, they won the Stanley Cup each year they played together.

Of course, no sibling list would be complete without the Gretzkys, the second-highest scoring brother combination of all time. Wayne and Brent combined for 2,861 career NHL points – just four of which came courtesy of the younger Gretzky – leaving them just 73 points back of the Sutter clan.