Tyson Fury wants nothing to do with mixed martial arts (MMA).
Despite that, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, and the promotion’s Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, have played along with the idea of a Fury match up. It all circles back to a somewhat random mention of the idea from longtime UFC commentator, Joe Rogan, on his podcast, according to “The Gypsy King.”
“To be honest with you, all this talk of a me and Jon Jones fighting in a cage is absolutely ridiculous,” Fury said in a Q&A at Bangtao in Thailand (h/t Bloody Elbow). “Like, I’m the lineal world Heavyweight champion. The man who beat the man going back to John L. Sullivan. Why would I even dream of going in a cage and wrestling and all that? It’s not my thing.
“It was actually Joe Rogan, little s—tbag, who [started this],” he continued. “Just out of the blue, there was no talk of me or Jon even fighting. Jon’s a great guy, probably the GOAT of MMA. [Rogan] said, ‘Oh, if Tyson Fury goes in a room with Jon Jones he’s going to get absolutely smashed to bits.’ Like, if someone goes in the room with me and it’s no holds barred, you’re going to have to kill me to stop me.
“He didn’t say an MMA fight or a boxing fight, he said go in a room together and Tyson Fury’s not walking out,” Fury concluded. “So I don’t know where it all started and Jon said something and I said something and we’ve been going back and forward.”
While the idea of Fury vs. Jones has gained some traction thanks to White’s willingness to make it happen, Francis Ngannou was the original Heavyweight champion to drum up talks with boxing’s finest. Fury added that he never at any point wanted or said he would fight Jones in MMA, but welcomed a boxing match.
“There was never talk of me saying I was going to go in a cage with Jon Jones and go in there and get my arm snapped off. No way,” Fury said. “The thing was, I offered Jon, you want to walk in a boxing ring and make some real money then come and fight me. But zero chance of me going in an MMA game and rolling around and all that. Zero.”
When it comes to Ngannou, “The Predator” began negotiating possibilities with Fury after Fury’s last win over Derek Chisora in Dec. 2022, going as far as to appear in the ring after the match. Ngannou has since joined Professional Fighters League (PFL) and achieved the combat sports freedom he long hoped for after becoming a UFC champion in March 2021. Nothing has come to fruition as of yet, but Ngannou still hopes to make his professional boxing debut before returning to MMA in 2024.
“I’ve offered to fight Ngannou in a cage under boxing rules with four-ounce gloves on and guess what’s happened? His arsehole fell out,” Fury said.
“Obviously my forte is not taking people down and all that sort of stuff, it’s different for me,” he added. “It’s like, yeah I’m going to fly a jet plane. I don’t know how to fly a jet plane, I have no idea. In a stand-up sport, in punching combat, whether it’s in a cage, in a phone box, whatever it’s going to be, if they want to do that, then no problem. But definitely not, I’m not going into any MMA fights.”
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Fury vs. Jones
Fury vs. Ngannou