Former undisputed heavyweight king “Iron” Mike Tyson will appear tonight on Spike TV’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Tyson (50-6-0-2, 44 KOs), who at 20 became the youngest boxer to capture the WBC, WBA and IBF titles, has long been a fan of mixed martial arts and he and UFC president Dana White forged a solid friendship years ago.
“It’s great to see how hard they train,” said Tyson, 44, a convicted rapist who once dabbled in cannibalism. “This sport is amazing stuff, good stuff.”
Tyson, a truly reformed man who Ring Magazine ranked as the sixteenth greatest puncher of all-time, praised White for his consistent ability to schedule the bouts the public demands.
"He's about entertainment for real, like boxing used to be," Tyson said of White, who attended the University of Massachusetts Boston. "Even the walk-in is entertainment. Everything is off the hook."
Tyson bashed portly pugilist James “Lights Out” Toney for his despicable debut in the octagon against Randy “The Natural” Couture at the TD Garden in Beantown last month.
"You have to admit, Toney looked horrible," Tyson said of Toney, a known abuser of steroids. "He looked slow. He didn't look like a seasoned, conditioned athlete. You only had to look at his body structure. No way, Toney didn't get ready to fight a real, professional athlete like Randy is. It was ridiculous. He had no respect for Randy."
Despite the heinous performance by Toney (72-6-3-2, 44 KOs), Tyson contends that a prizefighter could indeed flourish in the cage.
"I know 100 percent that a boxer could win," said Tyson, one of the most physically gifted pugilists to ever enter the squared circle. "As long as he learns how to grapple and wrestle, he could do great. You've got to go in there respecting the sport, and not just thinking you're going to knock somebody out every time. It's a complicated sport, but a good boxer has to be a great athlete anyway."
In his heyday, Tyson easily would have dominated the grand majority of mixed martial artists any day of the week.
In fact, a vintage “Iron Mike” would likely have been heavily favored if he were pitted in a bout versus current UFC heavyweight titlist Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar (5-1) is an absolute athletic specimen and a scrap between him and Tyson would have been extraordinarily intriguing.
If Lesnar managed to grapple Tyson to the canvas, the bout would’ve been brief.
However, Tyson at his pinnacle possessed surreal quickness, strength and reflexes and one flush blow would have landed Lesnar immediately onto Queer Street.
Despite Lesnar’s tremendous wrestling pedigree and granite chin, it is hard to fathom Tyson wouldn’t have emerged victorious in the bulk of their battles.
If Lesnar and Tyson encountered each other on ten occasions in their respective primes, Tyson would have triumphed approximately seven times via first round knockout.
In their three remaining contests, Lesnar would have mauled Tyson on the mat to earn a trio of quick stoppages.
Their ten fights in total would have lasted less than ten minutes.
Nevertheless, Tyson against Lesnar in the cage would have been “amazing stuff, good stuff.”