Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN FF announced that superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather would fight their kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa on December 31.
Prior to Monday's news conference, Mayweather gave a select number of media interviews over the weekend, but the identity of Rizin's marquee recruit for the Saitama event had been kept under wraps. It would be shocking if Mayweather did anything other than fight under boxing rules, as he did with McGregor.
Nasukawa, who is 4-0 in MMA and 27-0 in kickboxing, is listed at 5-foot-5, 125 pounds. "It was a surprise offer but I accepted without hesitation", he said.
The fight was announced early Monday at a news conference in Japan.
With fighting fans - both boxing and MMA alike - trying to process the latest twist in Mayweather's career path, will primarily come down to the eventual decision over the rules of his next bout before any real judgement can be made.
"As far as the weight class and the rules, we will talk about that and will get that situated within the next couple of weeks", said Mayweather. While it's wholly thought Mayweather will not compete in anything but straight boxing, he claims he can 'do it all'. "He has youth on his side and he's going to bring a lot of excitement".
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Mayweather's fight against McGregor pushed his career earnings to US$1 billion (RM4.2 billion), joining American basketball great Michael Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods as the only athletes to have reached 10 figures in earnings, according to Forbes.
The match-up appears to be the brainchild of Rizin promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the former Pride Fighting Championships chief.
'All that I can think about right now is to become the victor of a big fight that not only all Japanese fans want to see, but all worldwide fans want to see, ' he said to Bleacher Report. My punch can change history.
"I'm not particular about the rules - with or without kicks - it could be just boxing", said Nasukawa.
"I think he's young, very strong and very fast and he undefeated so it's obvious he's doing something right".
"As far as the weight class, we're not really anxious about that", he said.
Mayweather responded: "I just want to entertain".