Tyson Fury (29-0-1) has been busy this year. He knocked out Tom Schwarz (26-1) in June, survived Otto Wallin (20-1-1) in September, and last month crossed over to the WWE.
In order to make this happen his goal is to train with Conor McGregor. “I have been speaking to Conor about it,” Fury said. “He’s willing to train me. It’s gonna be good.” Fury even hinted at an end-of-the-year MMA debut, noting how he “would love to get in there (in the UFC) and smash someone up.”
Fury had previously announced his desire to fight either UFC Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic or Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. “He [Miocic] just beat Daniel Cormier in the rematch, good body shots, bam, bam, got him out of there. I’d fight him in a heartbeat,” Fury proclaimed. “Or Francis Ngannou. Any of the Heavyweight champions they’ve got. I ain’t afraid of any of them.”
However, UFC president Dana White immediately put down Fury’s ambitions. When asked about Fury’s MMA aspirations, White retorted, “Why would [he] want to even come over and attempt this? I don’t think it ends well for him. It doesn’t make sense for his career.”
Fury isn’t the first boxer to express an interest in fighting in the UFC. Last year, Floyd Mayweather reiterated that he is open to a comeback, but in the Octagon. White, surprisingly, has not shot down Mayweather’s MMA talk at all. On the contrary he seems to welcome it, even offering to Mayweather a fight against UFC Lightweight kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov.
White’s seemingly positive response to Mayweather’s MMA insinuations makes his put down of Fury surprising. But in doing so he might actually be doing Fury a favor. Fury is still a competitive boxer, and at the moment there is no bigger prospect for him than the return engagement with WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder (40-0-1). The two fought to a disputed draw last year and the boxing world has been eagerly anticipating a rematch.
Naturally the Gypsy King wants another crack at the Bronze Bomber. bwin Boxing reports that Fury has been actively looking for a rematch against Wilder this year. He finally got his wish as TalkSport revealed that Wilder-Fury II will take place in February, at a still to be announced venue. With such a big fight coming up, Fury will need to be 100% focused on it.
After that rematch, however, it will be interesting to see what Fury does next. If Dana White won’t give him a UFC spot he could try for Bellator or ONE Championship. He may even consider spending some more time with the WWE. Whatever path he chooses it is clear that once he retires from boxing Fury is determined to carry on fighting.