After a WWE appearance in October, heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury has been looking at a possible transition into mixed martial arts. “The Gypsy King” began training with middleweight Darren Till early this month, and also welcomes being under the tutelage of former UFC champion Conor McGregor.
Crossovers like this one are usually frowned upon by most observers. But not for former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who is looking at it from a business standpoint.
“If Tyson Fury was to come over, I’m not gonna say the word ‘groom,’ but they would stagger his matchups and give him logical matchups,” Bisping said on a recent episode of his Believe You Me podcast (transcript by BJPenn.com). “Listen, look at the UFC. People call it the entertainment era and Fury ties into that perfectly. The guy can talk, he can talk sh-t for days. He’s very, very funny. He can put people down, he sings on the microphone.
“Not only is he the heavyweight champion of the world but he’s massively charismatic. He’s an absolute huge star and if he can come over win a couple of fights and then get a title fight, for the UFC that’s big business. That’d be a massive, massive pay-per-view.”
“The Count” is also seeing some success for Fury in the UFC, especially with strategic matchmaking.
“I truly believe that (he’ll do well) if you matched him up correctly,” Bisping said. “Cause there is some good wrestlers like Stipe, for one. He outwrestled Ngannou, Ngannou’s been doing MMA longer than Fury so you’d think he’d outwrestle Fury as well. That just goes without saying, really.
And they’re not gonna give Tyson Fury a title fight right off the bat anyway. But then you’ve got other guys. I mean Cormier’s gonna be done soon.”
Fury’s boxing career remains active. He last fought in September, defeating Otto Wallin via unanimous decision. He is already set to face Deontay Wilder in a rematch in a still undetermined date in 2020.
Fury signed a $100 million multi-fight deal with ESPN in early 2019, and reportedly had guaranteed purses of $15.5 million and $12.5 million on his last two bouts. The heavyweight champion boxer also received a big sum from the WWE — said to be $15 million — for a few appearances and one big match in Saudi Arabia.