UFC President Dana White questioned why undefeated lineal heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury would have any interest in making the move to UFC during an interview Tuesday.
When TMZ Sports asked about Fury potentially going to the UFC , White didn't close the door on it happening but suggested it would be smarter for Fury to stay in the world of boxing:
"Listen, anything's possible. If Tyson Fury wants to fight in MMA, I've got a ton of guys that would love to fight him. I just don't know why. Promoted the right way, [Fury] could be a part of three or four of the biggest fights in heavyweight [boxing] history. Why come over and get smashed when you could stay there?"
Last month, Fury told Sky Sports he was considering a foray into MMA with UFC star Conor McGregor as his trainer. Fury added he could even get inside the Octagon as soon as this year:
Just last week, Fury broadened his horizons by competing for WWE at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia. Fury won the match by count-out when he knocked out Braun Strowman with a big right hand on the apron.
Perhaps the biggest argument against Fury getting involved in the UFC, especially this year, is the fact that he has a huge fight coming up against Deontay Wilder. Fury is expected to face Wilder in February in a rematch of their December 2018 draw.
The split draw represents the only blemish on either man's record, as Fury is 29-0-1, while Wilder sits at 41-0-1.
Given the fact that Fury and Wilder are both undefeated and already took each other to the limit in a wild and unpredictable fight previously, the rematch promises to be among the biggest fights in recent memory. Getting into MMA could put the rematch in major jeopardy.
There was some concern that testing the WWE waters would put the Wilder fight in jeopardy too, although WWE is at least something of a controlled environment, whereas there are no guarantees that Fury would thrive and avoid significant punishment in MMA.
Fury would undoubtedly be a massive draw and attraction in the UFC against other big-name heavyweights such as Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, Francis Ngannou, Junior Dos Santos, Derrick Lewis, Alistair Overeem and Greg Hardy, so it is difficult to envision White turning down the opportunity to sign Fury if it presents itself.
Transitioning from one style of combat to another is difficult, which McGregor is well aware of after trying his hand at boxing and holding his own before getting stopped by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the 10th round.
Fury would be subject to some of the same challenges, and if he isn't as successful in MMA as he has been in boxing, it could potentially tarnish his legacy as well.