As it’s grown in popularity, the UFC has attracted a bevy mainstream stars to their shows, including a number of major sports stars.
One such star is basketball standout Shaquille O’Neal, who has long been a fan of MMA and even harbored a desire to step into the cage himself. Though he thought better of it and kept within his wheelhouse, O’Neal is still interested in becoming involved with the sport and the UFC specifically. Following this weekend’s UFC 133 fight card, UFC president Dana White revealed that their may be a place in the business for the recently retired pro baller.
“Shaq is one of my good friends, and he’s been very good to us and the sport of mixed martial arts,” White said. “Shaq does want to get involved, but Shaq’s not fighting. Shaq wants to get involved in the business side of this thing. He’s a guy we have a lot of respect for, so we’ll see what happens.”
On the other hand, there are sports figures like Chad Ochocinco, the controversial NFL wide receiver who has called out Anderson Silva and recently called out Georges St-Pierre to a fight. White has less kind words for Ochocinco.
“Now, Ochocinco has been talking a lot of s***. If he saw the fight [at UFC 133], he better have a different outlook on Canadians. Rory MacDonald will ruin his football career,” White said. “He better stick to playing football. I’m a Patriots fan, so do your thing over there and stay out of this. I can’t tell if this guy likes attention, which we know he does, or if he really believes what he’s saying.”