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7 Apr, 2021 12:31

‘WTF is going on here?’: UFC boss White and boxing icon Mayweather spark speculation frenzy after sharing photo of meeting

‘WTF is going on here?’: UFC boss White and boxing icon Mayweather spark speculation frenzy after sharing photo of meeting

UFC supremo Dana White set off a speculation frenzy on social media when uploading a photo of himself with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara.

The snap was uploaded to Instagram early Wednesday morning. 

Echoing the sentiments of the masses, White captioned it: "HOOOOOOOLY SH*******T!!!!!! WTF is goin on here[?]"

And users online then tried to decipher just that. 

One potential prospect would be more exhibition bouts in Japan for Mayweather potentially involving White, as he makes a foray into boxing. 

Retiring unbeaten on 49-0 in 2015, five-weight champion Mayweather returned to the ring two years later in a blockbuster bout with White's biggest UFC draw Conor McGregor in a Las Vegas, stopping the Irishman in the 10th round. 

Mayweather reportedly earned north of $100 million for that fight, and later returned to the ring for a $9 million exhibition bout in Japan against kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa which ended by TKO in the first round.

Mayweather hasn't laced up a pair of gloves since, and any dealings with White and Sakakibara could pour cold water on other plans the Grand Rapids native had.

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The 44-year-old was meant to take on YouTuber Logan Paul later this year, but the showdown was shelved due to the "business side of things" getting in the way.

With no date set, White may steer Mayweather down other avenues. 

"That smile is Dana’s money deal face," pointed out one user, as another demanded: "We don’t wanna see no boxing match we want MMA" – a reference to Mayweather's threats to try out the octagon finally becoming concrete.

"Probably a fixed 'MMA' fight for Floyd," mocked someone else in a direct response to White's question.

"Absolutely nothing's gonna come out of this," claimed more negative parties.

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The development may also come as unwelcome news to Oscar De La Hoya. 

Often firing barbs at each through the press, White has referred to the Golden Boy Promotions chief as a "cokehead" and "Oscar De La Weirdo".

He scoffed at the Mexican-American's recently-announced comeback too, while quipping that "cocaine isn't cheap", and De La Hoya probably won't appreciate White attempting to snatch up turf in his sport. 

Elsewhere, back in MMA, stripped former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan asked for a rematch with Aljamain Sterling after seeing the photo. 

Requesting it take place with "PRIDE rules", this was a nod to the rival MMA promotion Sakakibara promotes, where knees to the head like that which he was disqualified for at UFC 259 would be entirely legal.

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Noboyuki himself later took to Twitter to suggest that it had been a chance meeting with White as he held talks with Mayweather, writing (via translation): "When I was having a meeting with Mayweather, I was surprised when Dana appeared when I was told, 'I have a guy who wants to see Sakakibara from now on, so I'll call him by phone.'

"It's been about 15 years since I met him again. One of the guys I wanted to meet back in the industry. Something may be born by chance! "