Tyson Fury Reportedly Holds Bellator Talks Ahead of Potential MMA Fight

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2015

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Boxing giant Tyson Fury has suggested "serious talks" are under way with Bellator President Scott Coker over the possibility of him securing an MMA fight.

Fury announced as much on Twitter:

MMA writer Josh Gross provided comment from Coker:

He also moved to suggest this wasn't a late April Fools' Day joke:

While Fury's boxing style could leave him exposed to the more subtle threats of MMA, a stint in the Octagon would at least make business sense. Bellator is contracted to Spike TV in the United States, which is linked to the United Kingdom's Channel 5. Spike TV launches in the UK on April 15, per BBC News.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Tyson Fury (green shorts) on his way to victory over Christian Hammer in a Heavyweight Contest by singing 'Elvis' at the O2 Arena on February 28, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

So a potential deal is based in financial possibility. Let's not forget Fury originally targeted a bout with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in 2013. He is the type of boxer who fears nobody and looks to rile others up to secure a fight. He's certainly confident, as tweeted by Michael Morgan of WHOATV:

In 2011, Fury also tweeted about wanting a shot at former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar, per ESPN.co.uk: "Fury v Lesnar stand-up and fight with MMA gloves or without!"

This article notes he is "unskilled in the art of wrestling or jiu-jitsu," a potentially major hang-up if Fury is to make a successful career out of the potential discipline change.

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

At 6'9" and 262 pounds when fighting fit, as reported by HennessySports.com, Fury would pose an interesting threat for most heavyweight MMA stars. With no obvious experience defending from his back or working through transitions on the ground, though, it's likely he would have some obvious weaknesses.

His 24-0 boxing record highlights the fact that he is extremely dangerous in a stand-up brawl. Eighteen of these victories have arrived via knockout, per BoxRec, but there's still the feeling Fury is yet to have his full skill set examined.

Opposition such as Dereck Chisora and Christian Hammer haven't possessed the intelligence or agility to consistently provide Fury with an elusive target. The 26-year-old's failed plans to battle David Haye—who combines quality movement with power and a sharp reading of his foe—would have done this.

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lesnar defeated Mir by a second round knockout.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Bellator competitors such as Alex Huddleston, Vinicius Queiroz and Alexander Volkov would perhaps be the fairest fights in terms of size, but Fury would most likely shoot straight for the top. Maybe Cheick Kongo—a big name who was often dropped in the UFC—would be an enticing matchup.

It remains to be seen just how serious Fury is about participating in MMA. His boxing career continues to progress, but he's boisterous and wants to make an impact at any possible opportunity.

Beating a seasoned MMA fighter would certainly add to his global appeal and perhaps open up greater opportunities in his boxing career.

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