Mike Tyson Remains as Straight as a Die With Dana White About Initial Days of UFC – I’m Surprised They Didn’t Kill Anybody


Back in the day, MMA was not as accepted as it is today. Many critics considered it to be violent and disregarded it as a sport. In a recent episode of Mike Tyson‘s podcast, ‘Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,‘ the legendary former Heavyweight champion had Dana White on the show. White is the president of the UFC and is a fan of ‘Iron Mike.’

During the episode, White discussed the growth of UFC in the last two decades. Along similar lines, he claimed that a young athlete would be more interested to compete in MMA than boxing. In response, Tyson recalled his initial thoughts when he was first exposed to MMA bouts in the UFC. Was it complimentary or condescending?

Mike Tyson on his first perception of MMA

Combat sports are one of the most primal sports known to mankind. However, MMA in particular was considered too violent by many, including the ‘Baddest man on the planet.’ Tyson hails from the boxing world wherein there were stringent rules of not hitting below the belt and the only form of combat was with arms. In contrast, MMA is known as freestyle fighting. Although rules exist, they are a lot less flexible compared to boxing.

Witnessing this, Tyson thought that the sport would have catastrophic outcomes. Reflecting on the same, he stated, “In the beginning, I’m surprised they didn’t kill anybody in the beginning of sh*t. If you look at it think about this they fought to you know there was no time limit or anything.”


In response, White acknowledged that at the time, the fighters under his roster were not skilled or athletic. He stated, “Yea and those guys were not peak physical athletes back then it was you all know it was these tough martial art guys with different backgrounds and but it was fascinating it’s there’s always something about fighting.” That being said, White asserted that if Tyson was 13 years old today, he would be more inclined towards MMA than towards boxing.

Dana White makes a bold assertion

It is no secret that UFC is considered a mainstream sport today. In many respects, it is at logger heads with boxing despite being relatively new. Moreover, White makes a bold claim that young teenagers are more captivated to train in MMA than in boxing and cites a hypothetical example. In the same episode, he stated, “This is the new combat sport that people are training in and doing like if Mike Tyson was 13 years old this is what he would be training to do now “

White’s claims may be debatable and many would find themselves in disagreement with the same. So, we ask you, what do you make of White’s assertion above? In addition, what was your first reaction when you came across the sport of MMA?


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