According to Nevada State Athletic Commission head Bob Bennett , Conor McGregor's victory over Nate Diaz in their UFC 202 rematch was a big key in approving the upcoming boxing match between the UFC superstar and five division champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Since the announcement of their deal, the fight has generated a lot of controversy, because McGregor - with zero experience as a boxer - is facing a boxer who is arguably one of the best defensive fighters in history.
The fight takes place on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After watching that rematch, Bennett placed a call to veteran train Virgil Hunter, because Diaz had worked as a sparring partner for IBF, WBA, WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward.
Hunter sung the praises of Diaz and said that he also sparred with boxers like Brandon Gonzalez and Andrzej Fonfara.
The fact that McGregor was able to hold his own with Diaz, score knockdowns and take big punches on the chin without going down - Bennett was more than convinced that a fight with Mayweather was doable.
"I reviewed UFC 202 which was a perfect indicator of Conor's boxing abilities. Then I gave renowned trainer Virgil Hunter a call. I said: 'I heard Diaz was a sparring partner for Andre Ward?’ Virgil confirmed that Diaz has sparred with Ward at least 12 times. As we know, Ward was a world super-middleweight champion and now a light-heavyweight champion.
"Virgil believes that Diaz could have been a world class boxer if he hadn't become an MMA fighter. Virgil holds Diaz's boxing ability in high regard. But then look at UFC 202 when McGregor fought Diaz, predominantly striking. McGregor knocked down Diaz in the first and second rounds. McGregor took some hellacious shots to his jaw from Diaz, and they didn't move him. McGregor fired a number of shots that hurt Diaz. Watching McGregor in that fight did contribute to me finding [the Mayweather fight] approvable."