Conor McGregor has made a fortune because the loudest bark usually gets the most attention, and until recently the brazen Irishman was able to underpin most of his boast.
Despite going 2-2 in his last four MMA fights, McGregor is still considered the sport's main attraction, a standard that could be tested when he battles Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at UFC 246 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Making noise is what McGregor is best at, and that's exactly what a rematch with Floyd Mayweather or a boxing match with Manny Pacquiao is talking about: noise.
The important things first. McGregor has to defeat Cerrone on Saturday evening to prove that he remains one of the elite fighters in the UFC and not just the loudest. There was a time when McGregor seemed invincible and talented enough to fight the miraculous fights with Mayweather in a boxing match, although he had never boxed before and Mayweather was 49-0.
The public bought it for 4.3 million pay-view purchases and McGregor walked away with nearly $ 100 million, while Mayweather earned over $ 250 million. The struggle was anti-climactic after all the constructions. Mayweather carried McGregor through the first few laps and ended it on the 10th and scored a TKO when McGregor's hands fell and the fight was stopped.
Fool me once about you. Deceive me twice, be ashamed of me. McGregor insists that he was competitive in battle and deserves a rematch.
"I would like to attack Floyd again," he said to Ariel Helwani from ESPN. "I think we should attack Floyd again. I mean he's flirting with it and they want it all. And he can get someone else. It won't be the same. I played phenomenally in this fight. "
But that sounds like stealing money. Neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao are cash, but McGregor boxing in a second fight doesn't have the curiosity that the original Mayweather-McGregor fight had. McGregor was hardly phenomenal unless you are just considering surviving until you are stopped as an achievement.
Pacquiao is not a fascinating option. Imagine the structure for this fight. McGregor names Pacquiao every name in the book, while the Philippines Senator sits there and smiles.
"We're actually about to sign Manny," McGregor offered. "There was also talk of the Manny fight."
A 2015 Mayweather Pacquiao rematch would be more fascinating than anything that concerns McGregor. Mayweather has shown no real inclination to return to the ring. He points to a return every now and then, especially when there is a big fight in Vegas. But he seems content to retire Mayweather Promotions and live the life of an undefeated champion.
Mayweather is smart enough to know that a second McGregor bout won't bring in the same revenue as the first bout when it surpassed $ 600 million to become the biggest PPV van ever.
McGregor's best focus is on Cerrone, an experienced MMA fighter who can win with either his stand-up or bottom game. Cerrone has been active while this is McGregor's first fight in over a year.
After losing in his last MMA fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Irishman has to prove that he is at the top of his daily work before he dares to box again.