Former UFC star turned combat sports analyst Brendan Schaub has revealed the inside secrets of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor press tour.
Schaub worked for Showtime (the US broadcasters of the fight) during the Los Angeles, New York and Toronto legs of the Mayweather-McGregor circus.
Schaub has been one of the main supporters of Conor McGregor in his fight with Mayweather, but he feels the boxing legend already has landed an early blow on the Irishman.
The two fighters lit up social media with their comments across the four city press tour, but Schaub believes Mayweather got the best of the exchanges.
"I think the UFC audience, we thought Conor was going to come out and steal the show," Schaub said on his Big Brown Breakdown podcast.
"We thought Floyd was going to do something here and there, but he's forty and it's going to be the Conor show. But to my surprise, Conor is by far carrying this thing, but the one who makes it what it is, is Floyd.
"40 years old, still having his tricks, getting those verbal jabs in back and forth."
Schaub revealed that Conor did not understand the format of the first press conference in Los Angeles and even caught the production staff unawares, making for an awkward start for the Irish UFC star.
"Conor didn't know the format, he actually came out early, he wasn't meant to come out - that's why he was on for so long," Schaub said.
"I don't know why he came out. Everyone was like 'get ready to go, Conor's coming out'. The entire production staff was like 'what?'
"I think he thought he (McGregor) was just going to get up there and say 'hey, what's up, thanks for coming, I'm going to knock this dude out, goodnight' but no sir, they sat down and Floyd got up and was like boom, boom, boom - this is how you do it son, kind of showed him the game there.
"I gave it 10-9 for Floyd. I got a bit of s*** from the MMA community, but I have to call it as I see it."
The big issue of the press tour was when Conor McGregor felt his microphone had been turned off on purpose. This saw the UFC champion go on a heated rant against Showtime TV boss Stephen Espinoza, who he called a "weasel", along with many more colourful words.
McGregor said at the time it was Floyd and Showtime trying to make him look bad, but Schaub cleared up the mess, saying the incident was simply down to a technical error.
"It's not a conspiracy theory, it's not Showtime trying to make Conor look bad and try and give Floyd an advantage, it's none of that," Schaub revealed.
"Our producers in the back were like 'what's going on?'.
"There was a young guy doing it, he messed up, he thought it was on. Sometimes there's troubles with microphones. I saw it with my very own eyes, how they were freaking out trying to get him a mic, there's no set up.
"I actually think it was one of the best things to happen, it motivated Conor and when he talked s*** to Stephen Espinoza, who I promise you this, is the most powerful man on that stage, when he put his markers on Espinoza and went f*** you, you f**** weasel, I was like 'ahhhh'.
"Listen I like a good conspiracy theory but it's not there."
Schaub likened the experience of following around the Mayweather-McGregor carnival to one of the biggest events in world sport, saying it eclipsed the atmosphere of a Superbowl, NFL playoff or UFC superfight.
The former UFC heavyweight said the experience has given him newfound respect for Floyd Mayweather.
"I talked to him (Mayweather) after and you realise, he knows exactly what he's doing," Schaub said.
"It's all calculated, all of it, none of it bothers him, the booing, the s*** talking, he won me over in that aspect. Jesus Christ the man is a genius. There's a reason he's the most highest paid athlete of all-time.
"I've never seen a better press conference than that Toronto press conference, ever in my life, the best spectacle I've ever seen out of a sports press conference, ever, ever."