Shaquille O'Neal has teased us with the idea of him competing in MMA for quite some time, but after his most recent Twitter war with Jose Canseco, he may have finally found an opponent worth stepping into the cage against.
The ongoing beef between Shaq and Canseco first began in 2011, when Shaq challenged the retired MLB star to an MMA fight.
Nothing ultimately became of the challenge, outside of a few verbal jabs that were hurled back and forth between one another.
On Twitter, though, Canseco claimed that Shaq has called him out four times. He believes the NBA legend is fronting as a tough guy and making challenges that he'll never own up to.
Jose Canseco @JoseCanseco
hey bigness @shaq this is 4th time I have said yes since you first challenged in 2011 .how long till u back up your smack mouth #whysoafraid2013-5-6 19:56:44
Canseco competed professionally in MMA back in 2009 against Hong-Man Choi at Dream 9.
The bout was deemed a freak show from the beginning, and things pretty much unfolded as expected. Choi, a 7'1" professional kickboxer, chased Canseco around the ring before earning a first-round submission stoppage due to strikes. As soon as the punches came, Canseco quickly turned away, dropped to the fetal position and began tapping.
Perhaps he believes his luck will be different against Shaq, who has never actually competed in MMA. In a last-ditch effort to draw Shaq out for a fight, Canseco resorted to provocative name-calling.
Let's just say the old saying about sticks and stones can be thrown out the window after hearing Shaq's response.
@JoseCanseco ill beat your ass rat boy the whole world saw u run from hung man Choy. Set it up ill break your jaw #snitchesgetstitches2013-5-5 08:06:21
Shaq may not have actual competition experience, but he has been training in MMA for years.
Even UFC president Dana White can vouch for him. During an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, White admitted that Shaq was experienced in training and constantly seeking an opportunity to compete in the UFC.
Unfortunately, a bout between Shaq and Canseco is highly unlikely in the UFC, especially after the whole James Toney incident. Outside of the UFC, though, it would still generate a lot of buzz, which could lead to big things for any fledgling promotion that is willing to roll the dice.
It's like reality TV. You know it's going to be a train wreck, but you still tune in every Thursday night, fist-pumping until the sun comes up.
Canseco has already tweeted a picture to give fans a taste of what he has in store for Shaq.
Jose Canseco @JoseCanseco