Conor McGregor is the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously. McGregor is eleven years younger and he's stronger than Floyd Mayweather. Yet Floyd Mayweather is one of the most skilled boxers in history. Some say he's the best ever. Mayweather has 49 wins and Zero losses. Zero. Mayweather has only been knocked down twice in his career - and one of these should have been ruled a slip.
But the two men are boxing - and although McGregor is an outstanding and accomplished mixed martial artist fighter (21 wins, 3 losses) - he's a rookie when it comes to boxing. Virtually every expert says that Floyd Mayweather will beat Conor McGregor tomorrow night. Some even say it's dangerous for McGregor to be fighting.
Earlier today at the pre-fight weigh-in, the two men stood toe-to-toe for 30 seconds (during the video from 20:36 to 21:04).
The image above, captured during 20:40, was perhaps the most telling moment. While Conor McGregor was "in his face", screaming and talking trash, Floyd Mayweather took a step backward (albeit a small one) with his right foot. This is Floyd Mayweather's 50th pre-fight weigh-in. He's accustomed to trash talk. He's had practice giving it and receiving it. Yet in this moment he retreated a bit. This is quite a significant nonverbal tell of low confidence.
Taken in isolation, a small step backward may be discounted by some. If you look carefully though, you'll also see Mayweather's feet are closer together. This signal projects an additional layer of Floyd's beta emotional tone to McGregor's relative alpha mindset.
Nuancing his nonverbals further, with his left hand clasping his right wrist, Mr. Mayweather is in a modified "Fig-Leaf" configuration (a protective stance also known as "Genital Guarding") - while Mr. McGregor's hands are clenched in fists with his arms to his side and elbows angled out.
Moreover, Floyd Mayweather's shoulders are rounded and rolled forward (more beta) - strongly contrasting with Conor McGregor's shoulders, which are pulled back and squared (more alpha).
Although the resolution is somewhat low in the above image, and from this distance it's difficult to discern - it looks as if his eyes are closed (a blocking phenomenon) - simultaneous with his back-step.
This next image was captured during 21:06 as each man turned away from each other and toward the crowd. In this instant, Mayweather is focusing in a momentary thousand-yard stare while his lower lip pouts asymmetrically (more on his right) - don't mistake this for a jaw jut (it's not) - or jaw clenching (it's not that either). This isn't an angry expression, or isn't determined - it's sadness. In this instant, Mayweather is visualizing a negative outcome.
Summary: Predicting the outcome of any sporting contest is fraught full of variables - and it's orders of magnitude more difficult with respect to team sports. But a boxing match is a contest between only two people - with the variables dramatically reduced. In such scenarios, the relative confidence level of each man becomes a much more influential factor in foretelling winning or losing. Experience counts. Skill counts. And although Floyd Mayweather is a far superior boxer and the odds for victory are heavily in his favor, if we ignore the trash talking during this toe-to-toe, 30 second, pre-fight, weigh-in, faceoff - Conor McGregor's body language is hyper-alpha, while that of Floyd Mayweather's is significantly beta. This body language indicates Floyd Mayweather's confidence is shaken and markedly lower than Conor McGregor's. Why? What does Mayweather know (or believe) that we don't?
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