Dana White On MMA-Boxing Crossover Fights: “It’s Just Silly”

Dana White does not seem to be a big fan of crossover bouts as his athletes call out boxers

Dana White
Credit: The Underground
  • Dana White gave a cheeky take on Francis Ngannou being in attendance at the Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte boxing fight
  • White doesn’t think Kamaru Usman should be calling out Canelo Alvarez

Ever since the megafight between the biggest draw of MMA, Conor McGregor, and the biggest draw of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, took place, fans have been excited to see more athletes replicate the crossover fight. One man who’s not a big fan of cross-promotion or interested in his athletes leaving the promotion is Dana White.

Dana White on crossover bouts

UFC president Dana White promoted one of the biggest combat sports matches to date when he partnered with Conor McGregor against Floyd Mayweather. The financial benefits of the fight were plenty for every party involved with McGregor leaving the ring with a reported figure of $100 million.

Still, White is not too keen on the idea of allowing his fighters to go and fight a boxer. There have been multiple cases where the promotion prohibited its athletes from even promoting a potential crossover bout. UFC’s public dispute with Francis Ngannou rages on as the company’s heavyweight champion refuses to sign a new deal without the possibility of boxing against Tyson Fury.

Ngannou is adamant with his demand and was in attendance at Tyson Fury’s retirement fight against Dillian Whyte last month. ‘The Predator’ walked into the ring after the contest and marketed his potential bout with Fury.

In an interview with Kevin Iole for Yahoo! Sports, Dana White was asked about Ngannou’s bold move. In classic Dana White fashion, he said

“I’m assuming he’s a boxing fan and he wanted to see a boxing match.” He alluded to Ngannou’s heavy use of grappling to win in his last outing against Gane and cheekily remarked, “Guess what he can’t use against Tyson Fury?”

White’s thoughts on Kamaru Usman-Canelo Alvarez

In the same interview, White was also asked about Usman’s attempts at fighting Canelo Alvarez. Iole is not a fan of crossover bouts himself and asked if there was a way to get rid of such talks.

“I guess you don’t get rid of it. It’s just silly,” said White. “Usman is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. He’s the best welterweight of all time. He’s lapping vicious, really badass dude. There’s no need for him to even be mentioning Canelo. Canelo is in a completely different sport who’s also the pound-for-pound best fighter in his sport. It’s just silly.”

There are various business implications that go along with crossover contests. A big risk White is afraid of is to have the UFC become the springboard to go into boxing. With the care they take to put into building the brand up, they will likely take every step to ensure it preserves its value.

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