MMA Facing Shaq Attack
One of the biggest questions facing professional athletes is what to do when they retire from the game they’ve played for 30-plus years. For Shaquille O’Neal, that question becomes even larger, given the fact that he is 7 ft tall and weighs 350 lbs.
Shaq has said several times that he wants to be a cop in the Miami, Florida, area when he retires. Let’s face it, Shaq is not going to work the 7 p.m. beat in South Beach.
Shaq had a short TV interview showing off the martial arts training that he does in the off season. Although he is the size of a California Redwood, he is surprisingly agile and quick.
Recently, Dan Patrick had the president of UFC, Dana White, on his radio program. White said, “Shaq’s been terrorizing me for years (for a fight in the octagon). He’s been training for years.”
Patrick went on to ask him if he would face off against Shaq, and White’s response was similar to the one that I would give, “Hell no! I’m not facing him.”
How would Shaq, a.k.a. “The Big Diesel,” fare in the ring? What other athletes have crossed over to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and how have they done?
Which UFC legend did Shaq challenge to a fight?
Hard Court to the Mat
Shaq has already crossed over into several other dream professions since arriving on the scene in ’92 for the Orlando Magic.
He displayed his acting chops in movies like “Blue Chips” and “Kazaam.” Those films are, personally, a couple of my childhood favorites, especially the thought of having my own 7-ft genie.
He also starred in two reality TV shows, “Shaq VS.” and “Shaq’s Big Challenge.” In “Shaq VS.,” he competes against star athletes of other sports on their own turf. “Shaq’s Big Challenge” was about helping obese kids get into shape, while understanding the importance of being fit.
Shaq has also blessed the mic producing three rap albums. My personal favorite is, “What’s up doc, can we rock?” There is also the highly classy free-style he made for Kobe Bryant, “Tell me how my ring tastes.”
Shaq has enjoyed moderate success in his endeavors away from the court. Although, he did not benefit in any of those crossovers from his freakish size, in the octagon, it could definitely play out to his advantage.
He has been a fan training in MMA far longer than it has been popular with the masses. He has hands the size of bike tire, great balance, tremendous strength and a wing span as long as a Cadillac. With all of those playing to his advantage, this could be his best crossover attempt yet.
Other Athletes Who Mixed It Up
Former major league all-star baseball player Jose Canseco tried his hand in the octagon and was decimated in 76 seconds. Canseco is also a large man, but we can attribute most of that to steroid use.
Herschel Walker is a former NFL running back who, at age 45, appears that he could still play a few downs every Sunday. Walker won his first and only match earlier this year. If any athlete is going to succeed in MMA, it will likely be someone from the gridiron.
James “Lights Out” Toney is preparing for a match against established UFC fighter Randy Couture. Many people think that boxers would crossover the easiest, but when you figure in use of the feet, grappling and take-down techniques could leave the boxer at a big disadvantage.
Shaq has played the game of basketball with more force than anyone in its rich history, but it is a game of finesse.
Chuck Would F*** You Up
In the report on Yahoo Sports, last spring Shaq called out UFC Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell.
White told Patrick during the program that he thought Liddell would have no problem taking care of Shaq. White admitted that he favors Shaq in a match up against the before-mentioned Walker.
I would give the edge to both of those men, especially Liddell. I personally waited on Liddell in 2003 while working at Ikea and he didn’t look physically intimidating. However, the intensity in his eyes for average Wednesday, the confidence with which he carried himself, and hands that looked like he pounded concrete with were very intimidating .
Shaq will most likely get into the octagon at least once after he retires from the game of basketball. I don’t think he’ll fight Liddell, and that would probably be in the best interest of his body and brain. If you want to see this fight, you can play the latest edition of the UFC video game and put in the codes to unlock Shaq’s character.
Shaq is notorious for giving himself nicknames; my suggestion for this particular endeavor would be “The Big Bruce Lee.”