05-26-2010, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
| | Shaq to the UFC?
By Jake Rossen (firstname.lastname@example.org) |
Tuesday, May 25 10:15 am PT: Shaquille O’Neal’s pursuits outside of basketball have not been altogether successful. (Insert your own “Kazaam” joke here.) With his NBA contract winding down this year, the 37-year-old will continue to have options: law enforcement (he’s a deputy), personal appearances, or endorsements. It’s doubtful he has to work even another minute of his life, but at least the appearance of effort is good for circulation.
Speaking with Dan Patrick on Monday, UFC President Dana White indicated O’Neal had been petitioning for a fight. At 7-foot-1, he would be exemplary for no other reason than being the tallest athlete in the promotion. But obviously, O’Neal’s appeal goes deeper than that: as one of the biggest sports figures of the past 15 years and one of the most famous people in the world, anything as lurid as seeing him throwing punches is going to be a serious cash-grab.
O’Neal, who trains with Royce Gracie black belt Jon Burke in Florida, has indeterminate abilities: that frame probably doesn’t move too smoothly in a ground scramble. But reach is huge for stand-up striking, where even a mediocre man-wall of a fighter like Hong-Man Choi can find some success. (O’Neal, perhaps owing to a sense of fair play, once taunted Choi in a viral video.)
White has already displayed a willingness to indulge in geek shows; while fans may protest that a special attraction shouldn’t be taking up the same real estate as fighters who have put in the effort, it’s a shortsighted complaint. For any pay-per-view O’Neal headlines, athletes on the undercard will be able to name their own sponsorship asking price.
Shaq has been a fan and around mma longer than most of us have. He's been a huge UFC fan since the mid 90's. Not saying how well he would do but he has always been the most well known UFC supporter. Just imagine how much ppv buys it would get, easily the best selling UFC ppv of all time but would the ufc go that route, should they? It would clearly be above hw and most likely a exhibition match, probably against an mma circus freak (sapp, choi, walker, conseco) or possibly another sports athlete that wants to give a go at shaq. Sherdog.com MMA Blog: Tuesday, May 25, 2010