Retired boxing champion Mike Tyson was simply explaining the UFC’s biggest problem during a recent interview with entertainment mogul Charlie Mack but might have accidentally started down a path that would end with Tyson facing UFC superstar Jon Jones inside a boxing ring.
The 53-year-old former heavyweight champ said the UFC’s pay model was hurting the sport to the point that arguably it’s most decorated current champion and one of the best MMA fighters ever would have to do something wild like fight Tyson inside a boxing ring to make some real money.
“Jon Jones got to fight me if he wants to make some super money,” Tyson explained.
Upon seeing that news, though, Jones responded to Tyson via social media, perhaps suggesting that he was down for the megafight if Tyson was serious about it.
“I’m listening,” Jones posted.
Tyson Probably Wasn’t Offering Jones Megafight
While Tyson could be on his way back to boxing later this year for a comeback fight, he probably wasn’t seriously offering Jones the crossover megafight.
Because Tyson’s remarks about facing Jones inside a boxing ring came just after the pop icon had finished detailing several other relevant examples of why UFC is now facing massive issues with its most profitable stars.
“Listen to this, UFC is more popular than boxing, right? Higher ratings, right? But a UFC fighter will never be richer than a first-class fighter [in boxing],” Tyson said. “To make a $100 million, Conor McGregor had to fight Floyd Mayweather.”
So Tyson was basically suggesting that as dominant a champion as Jones has been over the last decade in what seems to be the vastly more popular sport of MMA, the 32-year-old UFC champ would have to compete in a crossover megafight against a boxing champ like Tyson to score a massive payday.
You can watch Tyson talk about boxing Jones in the short clip below and decide for yourself.
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UFC Keeps Losing Biggest Stars Over Pay Disputes and Other Issues
It hasn’t been a great month for UFC president Dana White.
Jones, McGregor, Henry Cejudo and Jorge Masvidal have all gone public with their demands for higher pay or better treatment and have either threatened to sit out (Jones, Masvidal) or retire (McGregor, Cejudo) if they don’t get their way.
To complicate matters, White was completely taken by surprise when Amanda Nunes suddenly started talking about her own retirement after the women’s bantamweight and featherweight champ dominated Felicia Spencer at UFC 250.
Losing all five of those superstar UFC fighters at the same time would be a massive blow for what’s supposed to be the premier MMA promoter in the world.
White might want to consider paying his fighters more before this thing gets even more out of hand.
Tyson’s View on UFC Pay Remains Consistent
Tyson’s latest comments about the pay difference between top UFC athletes and professional boxers weren’t anything new.
The boxing legend had previously disclosed similar viewpoints to journalist Brant James back in April.
“MMA will always have more views and stuff than boxing, but boxers will always make more money than MMA fighters,” Tyson said.
So way before all these big UFC stars started threatening to leave the company, Tyson was talking about how the economics of the situation didn’t make much sense to him.
“That’s tricky,” Tyson said. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
On top of that, where former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman admitted to Heavy that he’d have been tempted to try MMA if it had been more popular during his fighting days, Tyson just couldn’t get on board with that same sentiment.
“I don’t know, because they don’t make enough money in my perspective,” Tyson said. “It’s exciting and sexy, but [UFC fighters] don’t make enough money.”
Now it seems like some of the top UFC superstars in the sport are starting to think the same way, and that can’t be good news for UFC fans.
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