Former British heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte is contemplating an entry to the Octagon in future. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: It doesn’t seem too long ago that there were doubters about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and some even laughed it off as some sort of circus.

Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum even once described the fighters as ‘guys rolling around like homosexuals.’

MMA stoically survived the criticism and even threatened to usurp boxing’s role as the most popular combat sport in the world.

Fast-forward to the present day and it can be argued that MMA, boosted by highly successful franchises like the UFC, Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, Pride FC and Strikeforce, has swept the world like a giant tidal wave.

No sport has enjoyed a growth trajectory like MMA has since the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was created in 1993, the same year that the International Sport Combat Federation was founded as the sanctioning body of MMA. It has skyrocketed to a level that had many sportsmen aspiring to switch over to the Octagon.

Two famous sportsmen who took the plunge were boxing great James Toney and WWE legend Brock Lesnar.

Now, former British heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte, whose May 2 bout against Russian Alexander Povetkin has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, has said that he is considering a switch to the cage.

Whyte, who boasts a 28-27 boxing record with his only defeat being against reigning champion Anthony Joshua in 2015, called out to UFC boss Dana White to “hit me up”, on the Fight Talk Boxing Podcast (@Fight_Talk 1).

Whyte, a two-time British heavyweight kickboxing champion, also shouted out to some of the big names in the UFC heavyweight division.

Addressing Croatia’s two-time UFC world champion Stipe Miocic, who boasts a wrestling style of fighting, Whyte says: “He’ll just try to take me down but he might go to sleep before I go down though.”

The Brixton-based fighter also told his official YouTube channel that he’d “knock out” Francis Ngannou, who he described as a “coward”.

Although traditionalists still scorn sportsmen who cross over to other sports, it may be considered wise to look into Whyte’s background given the fact that he is a two-time British kickboxing champion and European K1 title holder.