Earlier this week, the combat sports world was inundated by rumors that the UFC was considering locking up the services of boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua – to the tune of almost $500 million. The idea, rumor had it, was to use Joshua as a tool to kickstart Zuffa’s foray into the world of boxing (not to have him compete in MMA).
While the sources of these rumors were undeniably dubious, Joshua seems to have heard them, and he seems intrigued – like anybody who hears their own name and “$500 million” mentioned in the same sentence would be.
“I’m interested because we can all work together,” Joshua said during a media conference call this week (h/t SportsJoe.ie) Mine and Eddie [Hearn’s] relationship is a really good working relationship. You know? And I’m sure Eddie has an interest in working with Dana White. If it’s good business, it makes sense. I’m not in the business and I’m sure Eddie isn’t in it to say, ‘Oh, Dana White, we’re not interested in working with you,’ when we don’t know what’s on the table.”
“We’ll listen and a hundred percent, if it makes sense, we’re all ears, man. So I’m happy that Dana’s coming into the game. Hopefully, he can add some excitement, and we can progress forward and make some good money and make some good fights.”
While Anthony Joshua’s interest has definitely been piqued by this buzz about a $500 million deal, the news is bound to frustrate many members of the UFC roster, who have been fighting for better pay for years. In an era when fighters on the bottom rung of the Athlete Outfitting ladder are still paid just $3500, news that the UFC is considering shelling out $500 million to a fighter from another sport is bound to sting.
What do you think of the rumors surrounding Anthony Joshua and the UFC?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/23/2018.