Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Dana White had reached out to boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The reports suggested that White wanted Joshua for his much-discussed Zuffa Boxing venture, and that he’d offered him an absurdly lucrative $500 million deal.
Apparently, however, that just never happened. Speaking at the UFC Liverpool post-fight press conference, White denied making such an offer to the boxer, and claimed they never even met.
“I never made him an offer ever,” White said at the UFC Liverpool post-fight press conference (transcribed by Mookie Alexander for BloodyElbow). “We were supposed to meet. We never met, we never talked money, we never did anything.”
That being said, White did have interested in Joshua. His intention, however, was not to swipe Joshua from his current promoter Eddie Hearn. He simply wanted to work with Hearn to help Joshua get a foothold on American soil.
“That isn’t even the kind of deal I was looking to structure,” White said. “Because when we talked, [Joshua] had told me that he was going to stay with Eddie Hearn. He was never going to get rid of Eddie Hearn, and that was never the plan. It was never like I was trying to move in and steal him from Hearn.
“The deal was that I felt we could add a lot of value to them in the United States,” He continued. “So we could cut some kind of a deal in the US. He’s big in England, everyone knows who he is in England. And I have the machine to make him big in the United States. That was the plan.”
Interestingly, Joshua has repeatedly expressed interest in working with the UFC — and even in competing in mixed martial arts.
“I feel like a good scrap would be, I think the guy from Congo,” Joshua said on a March episode of Sky Sports’ boxing’s Toe 2 Toe podcast, referencing Francis Ngannou, who is actually from Cameroon. “I think he just lost recently. Big unit, that’d be a good scrap.”
“Then you’ve got Jon Jones, that’d be a good scrap,” Joshua added, dropping another huge name.
Do you think Anthony Joshua will end up working with Dana White and the UFC in the future? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/29/2018.