The trend of mixed martial artists chasing fights with boxers – and vice versa – doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. In a recent interview with SkySports, former WBC cruiserweight titleholder Tony Bellew was asked which, if any, MMA stars he’d be willing to fight. While he quickly shut down the idea of a fight with light heavyweight powerhouse Jon Jones, he did express some interest in a fight with middleweight champ Michael Bisping.
“I CAN WRESTLE, I CAN GRAPPLE, I PUNCH HARD, I CAN KICK AND I’VE GOT SOME KICKBOXING EXPERIENCE,” BELLEW SAID. “YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT ME GETTING IN THE CAGE WITH JON JONES – NOT A CHANCE. BUT IF YOU’RE ASKING IF I WOULD GET IN THE CAGE WITH A PUNCHER IN THE UFC? MIKE BISPING IS A GUY WHO IS PREDOMINANTLY KNOWN AS A PUNCHER AND HE’S A VERY STRONG WRESTLER AS WELL. I THINK I COULD GET DOWN TO 185 [LBS]. IF THE MONEY IS RIGHT, THEN TONY BELLEW WOULD HAPPILY ENTER A CAGE OR A RING. MAYBE LET’S DO ONE OF THEM EACH. I’M A MICHAEL BISPING FAN, BUT IF THE MONEY WAS RIGHT THEN THE FAN STUFF GOES OUT THE WINDOW.”
Bellew then clarified that, despite the tone of the SkySports article, he wasn’t calling Bisping out. He was simply admitting that he’d fight him if there was enough financial incentive.
“JUST TO CLEAR THINGS UP,” THE BOXER SAID. “I DIDN’T CALL BISPING OUT. I’M ACTUALLY A FAN OF HIS [TO BE HONEST]. THEY ASKED ‘WOULD I FIGHT HIM,’ TO WHICH I REPLIED ‘YES.”
This clarification then prompted a response from Bisping, who was surprisingly understanding. After telling Bellew that it was “all good,” however, he assured that he would indeed box with him after he fights Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 this November 4.
“ALL GOOD TONY,” BISPING SAID. “PEOPLE TWIST THINGS. BUT FOR THE RECORD, AFTER GSP, I’M DOWN TO HAVE A BOXING MATCH WITH YOU 100 PERCENT.”
Would you be interested in seeing Michael Bisping step into the boxing ring with Tony Bellew?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 8/16/2017.