Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson is now no doubt on the UFC’s radar following his victory in freestyle wrestling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but the newly-crowned champion won’t come running to Dana White for an offer.
In fact it is White — the UFC president — who will have to come running to Steveson.
That’s what Steveson told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour on Monday, where the 21-year-old revealed that he turned down a meeting with Dana because he didn’t think the UFC was actually serious about making an offer.
“Meeting did not happen,” Steveson said (transcript via Damon Martin). “I got to Vegas and I was on the go the whole day. I had no time to reach out or nothing. I don’t know. He’s got my number, he can reach out. He’s not coming at me like that. So like I said, I’ll wait my turn.
“Dana, you have my phone number, you have my Instagram. I don’t run to people. I do my job. I wrestle, I win championships. I put on for the university. I put on for the USA. No need for me to run anywhere.”
Steveson did, however, meet with WWE chairman Vince McMahon but didn’t give away too much information regarding the meeting.
“First time ever [meeting McMahon],” Steveson said. “It was simple. We just sat down and had an easygoing conversation, you know how it goes. Just said hey and got in and out.
“[WWE] always welcome me with open arms. Triple H, he welcomes me very well. To meet Vince, that was a warm welcome. The WWE community and the organization always welcomes me with open arms, with red carpet treatment, which is how it should be.”
Steveson has plenty of options on the table and plenty of offers from big name promotions but the Olympian won’t reveal his final decision until October.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to make a good decision and do what’s best for me, and if it takes another month, it takes another month,” he revealed. “I’m hoping before October.
“I know [what’s next]. It’s not 100 percent done. I’d say it’s about 60 percent done but I’m weighing all options. I’m trying to tell you but I can’t.”
Fellow Olympic gold medalist and former UFC two-division champion Henry Cejudo believes Steveson could win the UFC heavyweight title in the next couple of years and is confident the Indianan could beat Jon Jones — and even Francis Ngannou — with the right training.
Whether or not Steveson actually signs with the UFC (or the WWE) will be revealed in the next few weeks.