Bellator MMA Stars Give Their Mayweather-McGregor Fight Predictions and Discuss Training Sneakers

The scrap between boxing icon Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor is one day away, which has the fight world buzzing. Ahead of their bout in the ring, three standout fighters signed to the Bellator MMA promotion — Heather Hardy, Joe Schilling and Saad Awad — spoke with Footwear News to weigh in on the fight as well as discuss their training camp sneaker preferences.

Heather Hardy
Boxer and mixed martial artist, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Boxer mixed martial artist Heather Hardy
Boxer and mixed martial artist Heather Hardy.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock
Mayweather-McGregor Prediction

“Mayweather will win that fight. Boxing is a science. It’s not really a sport that gets won by the stronger guy or the tougher guy; it usually gets won by the guy with more experience. I’m not saying Mayweather is a better fighter than Conor [because] if they had a fight on the street where there were no rules or a fight in the cage, Conor would kill him. But Conor is inviting himself into an area where Mayweather has proven to the world 49 times over against some of the best fighters ever that he knows more things than anyone else inside the boxing ring.”

What does your fight training footwear range look like?

“I have set sneakers for strength and conditioning, set sneakers for running, and I only wear Adidas. I box in the Speedex boots, and I run in the Ultra Boost. I’m putting about 20 miles a week on my sneakers, so I always have to make sure I have new sneakers to run in. And I train in the ring in my boxing shoes.”

How important is it for a fighter to find the right footwear to train in leading up to a fight?

“It’s really important. In boxing, I can’t be boxing in my sneakers. You’ll twist your ankle so bad, you definitely need boxing boots for support for your ankles. Same thing with running; if you’re running 20 to 30 miles a week on the street, sprinting and inclines, you need something that has support and is durable.”

Outside of the ring and the cage, what shoes do you wear? Is it all sneakers? 

“I’m a girl, so you know I like high heels. I like Valentino, I’m a sucker for a pair of Valentinos. I spend all my money on shoes. I love Adidas shell tops [Superstar]; from before they signed me, that was my thing. I wear my dresses with my shell tops, and when I get where I’m going I take them off and put my heels on.”


Joe Schilling
Muay Thai kickboxer and mixed martial artist, Los Angeles

Muay Thai kickboxer mixed martial artist Joe Schilling
Muay Thai kickboxer and mixed martial artist Joe Schilling.
CREDIT: Bellator MMA
Mayweather-McGregor Prediction

“Mayweather humiliates McGregor in under six rounds, and Conor gasses out in four rounds. It’s going to be a completely different level of boxing. The buildup going into the fight is entertaining, but the reality of boxing and McGregor’s level of boxing versus Mayweather’s — it’ll be embarrassing. It will look really bad. I don’t think he’ll last. It brings a lot of money and attention and eyes to combat sports, so I think it’s good on that front. Ultimately, it will bring a lot of new fans; people are asking about McGregor who don’t know anything about boxing or MMA, so it’s good for the sport.”

What footwear do you train in for a fight?

“I usually run in Sauconys, and I wear Nike Frees a lot. When I buy shoes, I usually think, ‘Can I kick somebody in these?’ I used to wear Timberlands back in the day, and it seemed like I would get into an argument and altercation with multiple people with heavy-ass boots on. Now I always buy shoes that I could move around in.

Other than what you train in, are you a big sneaker fan?

“I’m a big sneakerhead, especially when it comes to Jordans. I have 14 pairs of 1s and some other random Jordans. I like the old shell toe Adidas [Superstars] and Jordans. But the 1s are my favorite.”

How many pairs of sneakers do you have?

“I probably have 30 or 40 pairs.”

How important is it for a fighter to find the right footwear to train in?

“I get excited when I get new shoes. If I’m going back into camp, I want to buy new running shoes, I like having new s**t on when I’m doing something I don’t want to do. It’s motivating to have nice, new comfortable shoes. And for sparring, I need shoes that are comfortable. There’s nothing worse than putting your foot in a tight, uncomfortable shoe and walk around all day. And I like to look fly, to keep up-to-date on the newest trends and what’s going on.”


Saad Awad
Mixed martial artist, San Bernardino, Calif.

Mixed martial artist Saad Awad
Mixed martial artist Saad Awad.
CREDIT: Bellator MMA
Mayweather-McGregor Prediction

“McGregor does have a puncher’s chance, but I think he has to connect, and Mayweather is known for not getting hit. He might run around for 12 rounds, and if that’s what he has to do to win, then that’s probably what he’s going to do. I think it’s bringing awareness to both sports.”

What does your training camp footwear range look like?

“I prefer Nikes. I like Nikes because they’re comfortable, but if I get a pair of Nikes and am running a lot, within two months I have to get a new pair. I don’t switch them that often, and the shoes can’t take that much of a beating for a long time. And I don’t buy specific shoes for strength training, but I know I should.”

How important is it for a fighter to find the right footwear to train in leading up to a fight?

“I know some guys that don’t give a s**t. I have an old pair of Reeboks that just fit me really good, and I know I need to get better distance running shoes, but I wear those all the time, and I know if I get better ones I’ll feel more comfortable. If I’m so busy, that’s the last thing I’m worried about.”

What do you wear during your downtime?

“I’m definitely a sneaker fan; sneakers and sandals. I have Nike sandals, and I used to be a fan of Jordan sandals, but it seems like everybody and their mom wears them. And I like wearing tennis shoes.”

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

“I probably own at least 30 pairs, but I usually wear the same three. I have two different pairs of Nikes that I usually wear, and I have a pair of Adidas that I wear when I go out that I really like and are really comfortable, the Tubulars. And Chucks, I’m a big fan of Chucks, of [Converse] Chuck Taylors. And my Chukkas are my favorite pair of Nikes, the Flyknit Chukka.”

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