Deron Williams Opens MMA Gym in Dallas, Wants to Compete After NBA Career

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 02: Deron Williams #8 of the Dallas Mavericks gestures to his teammates as he brings the ball up court in the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams isn't on the cusp of becoming a two-sport athlete, but his intense interest in mixed martial arts has led him to invest in a new gym called Fortis MMA in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas.  

According to the Dallas Morning NewsMark Francescutti, Williams is partnering with the gym in hopes of prepping for potential bouts once his basketball career is over. 

"I think it would be realistic," Williams said. "[My coach] wants me to fight [in the cage]. I don't know about that. I will do some jiu-jitsu grappling tournaments."

Williams added that while he doesn't believe his contract with the Mavericks explicitly prohibits participation in MMA events, it would be risky to compete based on the way deals are often constructed. 

"I don't think there is something specifically for MMA, but there is language that could get you into trouble," Williams said, per Francescutti. "You can't ride a motorcycle. You can't ski. If you got hurt playing football, you could definitely void your contract or face a fine."

Williams, 32, hasn't been able to avoid injuries over the course of his career, and he's been hampered at such consistent rates that he's appeared in more than 70 games twice dating back to the 2009-10 season. 

So far this season, the three-time All-Star has missed eight of 17 games due to ankle and calf injuries.

But even when Williams has been healthy, he's struggled. 

While the Mavericks have floundered in the Western Conference cellar, the 12-year veteran has averaged 11.0 points and 4.8 assists while shooting what would amount to a career-worst 38.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three. 

The combination of statistical slippage and injury woes could signal that Williams is nearing retirement, but he's yet to indicate if he has plans in the Association beyond the 2016-17 season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. 

However, if Williams does decide to call it quits in the semi-near future, it's clear he has a plan in place to remain active in the athletic sphere.