Inside Floyd Mayweather's meeting with UFC boss Dana White and RIZIN chief as he plots next comeback fight
FLOYD MAYWEATHER paved the way for an astonishing crossover event with MMA pioneers Dana White and Nobuyuki Sakakibara.
The boxing legend set up a meeting 15 years in the making as he reunited promoters White and Sakakibara in his Las Vegas mansion.
There, the boxing and MMA icons discussed working together on a crossover event alongside other 'entertainment kingpins'.
Sakakibara, CEO of Japanese promotion RIZIN, told SunSport: "Dana and I go way back to when I was the CEO of PRIDE.
"Seeing Dana face to face again was one of the things on my bucket list after I got back into this business.
"I would love to do a RIZIN event in Vegas in the future and my goal still is to try to get all organisations to work with each other to take the sport to the next step.
"On top of that I have been working on putting together a chain of alliances from different fields of the entertainment industry from combat sports.
"YouTubers, musicians including, Floyd, Steve Aoki and other entertainment kingpins to see if we can come up with a new kind of entertainment which would not only penetrate the Japanese market, but the international market as well."
PRIDE launched in 1997 and had ten legendary years as they competed with the UFC as MMA's premier promotion.
That was until the UFC's then-owners Zuffa bought the company and merged their two stables together.
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Sakakibara later founded RIZIN and in December 2018 welcomed Mayweather to Tokyo for an exhibition bout with kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa.
So when the pair met up again to discuss another partnership, Sakakibara was stunned after Mayweather invited old friend White over too.
He said: "I originally flew into Las Vegas to have a meeting with Floyd about what we can do together during these hard times.
"We were at his house at the time, and Floyd told me he wanted to invite Dana over, then really Dana shows up.
"It was a shocking moment because it’s been almost 15 years since we’ve last seen each other.
"It was nothing but a surprise and caught both of us off guard. It was such a surprise for both of us.
"We chatted and laughed about the old days and our struggles as promoters during the pandemic."
Mayweather, 44, was set to return to Japan for another exhibition last year but was unable to travel amid coronavirus restrictions.
He will make his comeback to the ring after two years out, but in Miami, on June 6 against 26-year-old YouTuber Logan Paul.
Sakakibara is still hoping to welcome Mayweather to RIZIN's platform again but has to first wait for government clearance.
He explained: "It would be great if he could.
"But we need to know more on what the Japanese government decides with bringing in international athletes.
"Fight or not, it would still be nice to do something with him as a business partner to improve the combat sports scene in Japan and bringing a big influence to the international market."
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