The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Japanese fighter mocked by Conor McGregor vows to ‘avenge’ his loss to Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather, left, and Tenshin Nasukawa pose during a news conference to announce their fight. (AFP Photo/RIZIN Fighting Federation) (Handout/AFP/Getty Images)
Placeholder while article actions load

We’ll have to wait until New Year’s Eve to see Tenshin Nasukawa fight Floyd Mayweather. However, the Japanese kickboxing phenom is already getting into it with Conor McGregor, following profane insults from the UFC superstar.

McGregor posted a photo Monday to social media showing Mayweather and Nasukawa at a news conference they’d held to announce the fight, which will take place near Tokyo under a yet-to-be-determined format. After mocking Mayweather for the outfit he was wearing, McGregor wrote in his caption, “What in the f--- is going on here? Who’s this little pr--- next to you?”

“That’s mad s---,” McGregor continued, saying “Chris tucker and Jackie f------ Chan back in this b----,” comparing the duo to the stars of the “Rush Hour” film series. “F------ brilliant. Mad little bastard you are Floyd,” McGregor wrote. “Fair f---- to you mate. No lie. F--- it.”

Nasukawa posted his response Tuesday, telling his antagonist, “Hello, Mr. McGregor. My Name is Tenshin Nasukawa. I am not Jackie Chan.

"I promise to avenge your loss, so please watch my fight.”

Nasukawa was referring to the defeat McGregor suffered to Mayweather in August 2017, in a boxing-only match that boosted the latter’s record to 50-0. Mayweather had come out of retirement to take on the Irishman in a much-hyped bout that provided both with massive paydays, and even before squaring off with Khabib Nurmagomedov last month for the UFC lightweight title, McGregor was expressing interest in a rematch.

“If [Mayweather] has the bottle to come over and deal with this, like he said he has, let’s see what happens,” McGregor said in October (via ESPN). “I would also like to box him again.”

“It’s either a straight MMA bout or a straight boxing bout,” he added at the time. “If they come looking for modified rules, I would rather just box the kid again.”

Nurmagomedov, who maintained his own undefeated record in submitting McGregor in their bout, also said he would like to take on Mayweather, but the 41-year-old boxer chose a different option, one that surprised many when word of the Nasukawa fight emerged on Sunday. Mayweather explained at the news conference that he was eager to bolster his partnership with the Japanese company staging the fight, while growing his brand in that country.

“As far as the weight class and the rules, we’ll talk about that and we’ll get that situated within the next couple of weeks,” said Mayweather, who generally has fought at about 30 pounds heavier than Nasukawa does. “This particular bout is a special bout as far as we’re giving the people something they’ve never seen before. The world has never seen Mayweather compete live in Tokyo."

At 20, Nasukawa is less than half the age of Mayweather, but he has already attained an impressive record as a professional fighter, having gone 27-0 in kickboxing, with 21 knockouts, and 4-0 in MMA, with two knockouts. His burgeoning fame ensures that there will be plenty of interest in the Mayweather fight in Japan and other parts of Asia, while McGregor, perhaps inadvertently, seems to be doing his part to bring it attention in the United States and elsewhere.

McGregor, though, also brought himself criticism for his comments, with some calling him racist for likening Nasukawa to the Hong Kong-born Chan. McGregor has been accused of racially insensitive trash-talking before, notably after taunting Mayweather during the run-up to their fight with the line, “Dance for me, boy!”

McGregor subsequently denied being racist, saying, “Did they not know I’m half-black? Yeah, I’m half-black from the bellybutton down."

Mayweather has faced similar criticism in the past, including after calling Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer he defeated in 2015, a “little yellow chump” and saying that he would force Pacquiao to make him a “sushi roll.”

After beating McGregor in October, Nurmagomedov made it clear that he had felt deeply insulted by his opponent’s pre-fight trash-talking about the Russian’s “homeland, religion, nation, family.” That contributed to a post-fight melee, for which both UFC stars have been suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission as it investigates the incident.

Read more from The Post:

UFC 230: Daniel Cormier makes quick work of Derrick Lewis to retain heavyweight title

Sources: Nationals made Bryce Harper ‘aggressive offer’ last month, did not reach agreement

A young rugby player ate a slug on a ‘mate’s’ dare. Now he’s dead.

Michael Irvin erupts at Stephen A. Smith with sweat-soaked rant on Cowboys’ greatness

In the NFL, the gap between the haves and have-nots is growing wider