Having beaten a much smaller Saenchai last weekend Buakaw now has his sights set on a fight that would be far bigger in every respect. He wants to face UFC star Conor McGregor in a bare knuckle Muay Thai bout.
It is probably quicker to list all the reasons why this fight could potentially happen than the laundry list of reasons as to why it won’t. McGregor was allowed to compete outside of the UFC in 2017 when he faced Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match but Buakaw isn’t quite as big a draw as the undefeated boxer was at the time.
Buakaw towered over Saenchai. According to the statistics he posted on his Facebook page earlier today the Thai would be just 1cm smaller than McGregor.
Wealth and popularity
The problem for Buakaw, and the people at BKFC Thailand, is that McGregor’s wealth and popularity massive outstrips that of the two time K-1 Max champion. The Irishman gets an eight figure purse every time he fights.
Buakaw is rumoured to earn around 300,000 baht every time he fights at Rajadamnern. His fights might be of interest to fans in Thailand but won’t attract many viewers from outside of the country.
So there wouldn’t be much incentive for McGregor to sign up for a bare knuckle Muay Thai bout with Buakaw. The Mayweather fight was one of the most successful in history and a smash hit success at the box office.
The only current fighter who could potentially match Mayweather in terms of popularity is Jake Paul. He outweighs McGregor by around 30lbs and hasn’t always boasted the best pay per view figures during his boxing career.
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Student of the sport
McGregor looks set to make his long awaited UFC comeback in 2024. The former featherweight and lightweight champion has not competed since suffering as nasty leg break in 2021.
McGregor is a student of the sport and almost certainly knows who Buakaw is. The Irishman probably wouldn’t be interested in a Muay Thai fight with the 41 year old because the risk for him would massively outweigh the reward.
While he won’t be fighting McHregor any time soon the Thai legend does have a bout booked next month. Buakaw will return to kickboxing to take on an as yet unidentified opponent at Rajadamnern on December 2nd.
Buakaw is supposed to be fighting Manny Pacquiao in an exhibition boxing match next year. That is one fight which might actually happen but a fight between him and McGregor almost certainly never will.