Mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing crossovers historically have not gone all too well for the fighter venturing into the opposite sport. As a man who has contributed in both directions, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, isn’t all too keen on making the two fantasy bouts that are currently being most discussed within the community.
Dating back to his last fight in Nov. 2021, UFC Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, expressed interest in a boxing match against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. In the champion’s perfect world, he’s since gone as far to say that he hopes it can come to fruition in Sept. 2022. In the meantime, Usman expects to defend his title against Leon Edwards during the summer.
“I think that if [Usman’s] serious about it — he shouldn’t be serious about it,” White told Sky Sports. “I don’t like that fight at all. Everything about it is horrible. Usman is not a boxer. Canelo is probably the best guy out there right now. It’s a stupid fight that makes no sense.
“I don’t even know how many people would be interested in seeing that,” White added. “It’s like when Conor [McGregor] and Floyd [Mayweather] fought, it sort of took on a life of its own. They talk about Tyson Fury and Francis [Ngannou], too. What do you think’s going to happen in those fights? Those guys are the best in the world at boxing.”
Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is undeniably the highest-profile instance of any MMA to boxing crossover. Then in the reverse, there’s that time James Toney entered the Octagon against former two-division UFC champion Randy Couture at UFC 118 in 2010. McGregor suffered a technical knockout defeat in the tenth round of his bout with Mayweather, while Toney didn’t last one round with Couture, who submitted him with an arm-triangle choke.
White isn’t flat-out saying we’ll never see one of these types of fights happen again, but it has to be under very unique circumstances.
“[McGregor vs. Mayweather was] a fight that took on a life of its own,” White said. “Everywhere I went, people asked me if those two are going to fight and it just kept building and building and building. Finally, it got to the point where I was like this is big and I was right. It ended up being the biggest pay-per-view ever.
“Who knows,” he concluded. “Something could come along down the line but the whole boxing versus MMA thing is silly.”