Michael Phelps has challenged Conor McGregor to a swimming race

Michael Phelps has challenged Conor McGregor to a swimming race

If Conor McGregor earned a cent for every time his name was published online, he could purchase 6 per cent of the Irish mainland, name it McGregoristan, and retire permanently upon a golden throne. At least, until Michael Phelps swam the English Channel to come for him.

With all the celebrity match-ups going on lately, the tracks of intersecting hype trains are sure to collide. Would you like a Hulk Hogan vs. Kid Rock octagon fist-fight? A Danny DeVito vs. Larry David brawl? Perhaps Jerry Seinfeld vs. Louis CK in a chainsaw clash?

Michael Phelps couldn't help but get in on the fun.

Why not? After all, McGregor versus Mayweather was a pretty silly match-up, when all's said and done. It's like asking a master novelist to compete against a master poet in a poetry competition. The winner, barring some miraculous One Punch Man-level shenanigans, is pretty set from the start.

Phelps, of course, recently lost to a CGI shark in his own sport. Yes, you read that right. Discovery Channel had him race a CGI shark for Shark Week. And he came up about two seconds short, a pretty big difference for the sport of swimming.

Credit: USA Today

Since Phelps and McGregor have both lost their most recent trials, should we set up the most ridiculous losers' bracket in history?

Off the coasts of McGregoristan, we could have them each wear lead flippers, and duke it out with harpoons and scuba suits at the bottom of the ocean. Of course, stabbing the oxygen tank would be a major penalty. And the harpoons could even be tipped with styrofoam, American Gladiator style.

You could sell tickets ringside in the real-world Bikini Bottom, and sell the world's first pay-per-view event streamed live from underwater. I mean, I think an undersea battle would make way more sense than a race. Phelps has the advantage when it comes to familiarity and motion, and McGregor has the edge in direct combat. There you go. Cut them each a $100 million check and let's see it happen.

Phelps at least enjoyed watching the latest hype train mismatch on pay-per-view:

Some conspiracy theorists allege that McGregor threw the fight, which is always fun. Perhaps the Mayweather mafia promised him an endorsement for his new whisky product? Ah, that's the missing X factor - let's have McGregor swim against Phelps in a sea of his new Notorious Irish whisky. McGregor will have a home-turf advantage that way, and swimming in whisky provides new issues of its own. Can Phelps keep his mouth above water? Or, like Hemingway, would he be an absolute beast in the water, kicking and soaring like a water dragon with reckless abandon?

Credit: USA Today

What do you think? Would you pay for this? Would you endorse the creation of McGregoristan? I'm sure, if not Ireland, he could buy a small island, invest in some nuclear deterrence, and become a head-of-state. If he got Mayweather and Nate Diaz onboard, they could become the most badass nation in the world fairly rapidly, and create a paradise of celebrity match-ups, profiting off of foreign tourism.

Come on, all ye millionaires and billionaires. Get creative with that endless chasm of credit!