The Venn Diagram separating mixed martial artists and boxers seems to be widening. With Conor McGregor’s 2017 crossover to face Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather looking to make a move into the octagon, and Dana White planning to add boxing to his promotional portfolio, it seems that the time is right for fighters in both sports to test their luck in a new environment.
WBC Silver Heavyweight Champion, Dillian Whyte, is no neophyte to the world of MMA, the WBC number one ranked heavyweight has had experience inside the cage.
In 2008, a 20-year-old Whyte showcased his impressive power when he knocked out his opponent at an Ultimate Challenge MMA event. It was an impressive debut for the man who told FIGHT SPORTS he got into fighting to “Kick A**!”
That love of fighting, is why he was given the nickname “Body Snatcher,” a name he got in the gym because of his tactic to go for the body, which he claims is against the norm for his fellow heavyweights.
When asked if he would ever consider a return to the cage, the man formally known as “The Villain” seemed receptive, but with a catch.
“I’d be more than happy to fight a top MMA fighter if the fans want to see it,” Whyte told FIGHT SPORTS, but only if “it’s properly promoted and can draw.”
For Whyte, properly promoted may be a different level than some fighters, as he’s one of the top heavyweights in Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable. Hearn, who has become one of the biggest contemporary promoters in boxing, has been able to guide fighters like Whyte and former opponent, Anthony Joshua into stadium acts.
Yet, with potential matchups against the aforementioned Joshua in a rematch of their 2015 battle, or his mandatory title shot against WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, in his direct horizon, it’s hard to see Whyte putting those opportunities aside for another chance at MMA, especially with Joshua interested in a rematch with Whyte.
Dillian feels the opportunity to fight Widler is his best next move because he feels he can easily handle the Alabama born boxer, saying that while he respects Wilder, he doesn’t see much there.
“Wilder fights scared, he doesn’t box, he fights like he’s in a street fight,” claimed the WBC Silver Heavyweight Champion.
With Eddie Hearn continuing to push for a Whyte-Wilder fight later this year, Dillian should continue to get ready for a war of words because that’s a favorite past time for Deontay Wilder.