Retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has been an MMA fan for years. ‘Shaq’ has even talked about competing in the sport — against Hong Man Choi — in the past. That said, he has never actually fought before.
Over the weekend, he came pretty close to doing so as he stepped into the UFC’s Octagon for a bit of grappling with Forrest Griffin. Watch this showdown, which was refereed by UFC President Dana White and ultimately finished by UFC strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha, in the video above.
Speaking to FTW shortly after this video was shot, Shaq divulged that his priority in this MMA foray was simply not being submitted.
“I was only worried about not getting submitted,” he said. “I’ve been doing it (MMA) but not on the level he has so I just had to stay safe and play it safe. But he was a strong fella and he said the same thing about me. I’m gonna blow my head up pretty high for not getting submitted because when you cross over into somebody’s sport talking all that trash you better be able to back it up.”
If he’d started training in the prime of his athletic life, how do you think Shaq would have done in MMA? Are you impressed that he was able to avoid the tap against Forrest Griffin? Join the conversation in the comments section below!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM