The video went viral — ESPN, Yahoo, Fox Sports, E! and every major MMA site posted the 15 second clip of former boxer Mike Tyson slapping UFC President Dana White, telling him to get out of his seat on the UFC’s private jet.
White posted the clip on his Instagram saying, “Got punked. Mike Tyson. Worst flight ever.”
That was followed by a picture of Tyson drawing on White’s forehead as he was sleeping on the flight with the caption reading, “Alright it’s official no more flying with Mike Tyson.”
All jokes aside, that got me to thinking: How would the 47-year-old Tyson have done in the UFC in his prime?
Here’s 5 reasons why I think he would’ve done just fine.
5. Athletic: When Tyson was 15-years-old, he looked like a grown muscular man. In this clip, if you didn’t know he was 15, you might have mistaken him for an NFL linebacker. Being a superb athlete would’ve helped Tyson in all different facets of MMA, being able to quickly learn jiu-jitsu, wrestling and even kicks.
4. Intelligent: Okay, I know what you might be thinking — how does intelligent and Mike Tyson make sense? But, if you go back to watch the countless hours of footage as a youngster, his trainer, the late Cus D’Amato would bark out instructions to his young pupil and he would do what was instructed of him. You say “maybe he was just good at following directions,” but to follow, one must understand, comprehend and do. In my book that’s intelligence.
3. Hard worker: The latter years of his career, it was a known fact Tyson didn’t work hard and before his fight with Buster Douglas, he partied the night before. But a young, hungry Tyson — taken into D’Amato’s house as his trainer, mentor and father — worked hard for the old man and was determined to make him proud.
2. Controversial: Tyson spit out what he wanted to say, when he wanted to say it, however he wanted to say it, and wherever he wanted to say it. He was more controversial than any MMA fighter in history. Telling former heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis he wanted to “rip out his heart and feed it to him” and cursing out journalists was normal for Tyson who had a lot of rage within. Controversial fighters today are PG compared to Tyson, which made him more notorious and a must see for fans.
1. Kid Dynamite Yes, the previous four points would’ve helped him be a succeed in the UFC — but what would have made him a star was the huge power he possessed in both of his hands. He knocked guys out with the left or right and all he needed was one punch to do it. No combinations were necessary. In the UFC, he would have the ability to end the fight at anytime with that power. Whether he fought in the heavyweight division or light heavyweight, no one in MMA has had that kind of power. Not Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Jon Jones, no one has the ability to generate that much power or velocity like Tyson. And you know what? He still has it — here he is showing heavy handed UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks a few things. Not too bad for someone pushing 50 in two years. But then again who are we kidding… This is Mike Tyson after all.
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