The winner for most contentious mixed martial arts (MMA) interview of 2022 goes to Dillon Danis and Ariel Helwani, who met in December to discuss Danis’ return to combat sports on Jan. 14, 2023. Curiously enough, Danis won’t be competing in MMA where his impressive Brazilian jiu-jitsu pedigree would come into play.
Instead, he’ll boxing YouTuber KSI as part of MF & DAZN: “X Series 004.”
But, don’t worry, MMA fans, we’ll get our chance to see Danis back in a cage if all goes well in two weeks. Between all the insults and jibes from The MMA Hour interview (watch it above), Danis shared his plans for an extremely busy 2023.
“I’ll try to do four, maybe more [fights],” Danis declared. “When I come back to MMA, I’m going to run through them fast, two fast submissions. I have two more fights left with Bellator, so you never know what will happen.”
We certainly don’t know how his fight with KSI will go as Danis returns from a horrific knee injury that has kept him out of competition since mid-2019.
“I had the knee surgery at HSS [Hospital for Special Surgery], which is supposed to be the best,” he explained (via MMA Fighting). “It ended up failing. My graft failed, completely failed. So, I had to get another surgery, which is another year. So, basically two surgeries within a year, they said it’s like being in two car accidents. So, my knee was like completely f—ed.
“I had the surgery that failed, they had to use a different graft, they did a whole thing, within a year,” he continued. “So, my knee was f—ed. It’s not like I don’t want to fight. That’s the stupidest thing ever. Why wouldn’t I want to fight?”
Anyone following Danis on social media could see the guy was stuck in a full ankle-to-crotch cast forever, and it’s a big question as to how agile on the feet the ji- jitsu champion will be after that. He wasn’t exactly slick with his hands to begin with, based on his two Bellator fights (which he still won by first round submission, to be fair).
Not that KSI is coming in to his fourth professional boxing fight with Golden Gloves credentials or anything. But, we have seen footage of him hitting pads properly. That’s the level of intrigue the fight next weekend brings: who is the less terrible striker?
People with more money than sense may pay in the hopes of seeing KSI or Danis get knocked out, and that’s what we have on our vision board, too. But, celebrity boxing has risen in the past, too, and fallen back once people realize unskilled strikers aren’t that fun to watch (and their bouts usually end in mediocre decisions).
How do you see KSI vs. Dillon Danis going, Maniacs? And should Danis win, what do you want to see him do next?