Tyson Fury talks a hell of a good game. Now, he could get get the chance to back it up.
The undefeated heavyweight boxing champion has been vocal over the last two years about how he would dominate MMA if he gave it a try. As far back as 2013, Fury challenged UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. He has been at it again in recent weeks.
Well, it's time to see if Fury is actually willing to prove himself inside of a cage. Bellator MMA president Scott Coker confirmed with MMAFighting.com on Thursday that he is in discussions with Fury about competing for the promotion.
"We are in dialogue with Tyson about entering the Bellator cage," Coker said in a statement. "Tyson seems to feel he can walk through any heavyweight MMA fighter. Let's see how serious he is."
Fury, 26, has a very solid résumé in boxing. The England native is 24-0 as a pro and currently holds the WBO International heavyweight title. Of Fury's 23 victories, 18 of them have come by knockout. He is also a physical specimen at 6-foot-9 with an 85-inch reach -- more than that of Jon Jones.
In a recent interview with WHOA TV out of the United Kingdom, Fury blasted the UFC for having Brock Lesnar come in from WWE and win its heavyweight title a few years ago.
"We all know WWE is pretend," Fury said. "And if a pretend fighter can come in and win the heavyweight championship of the world in what is supposed to be the ultimate fighting competition, it doesn't say a lot, does it? I haven't changed my mind, anytime, any place, anywhere, tell Dana White to bring Velasquez to me and I'll knock him into next week. As I said before, they are not on my level, they are bums compared to me."
If he signs with Bellator, Fury wouldn't get a shot at Velasquez. Vitaly Minakov is the Bellator heavyweight champion and there are other potentially intriguing matchups for him, like Muhammed Lawal, Cheick Kongo and Alexander Volkov in the organization. It's unclear if Fury would also be allowed to continue his boxing career if he penned a deal, but there is precedent. Joe Schilling competes in MMA for Bellator and kickboxing for GLORY.
Fury also said in the interview that White had offered him a fight, but implied the UFC did not offer him enough money.
"I told him and I'll tell you again, when he can afford it, come and see me," Fury said. "Until then, forget about it."
Fury is not the first boxer to want to try his hand at MMA. James Toney begged White relentlessly to let him fight in the UFC for years. He was finally granted his wish in 2010 -- and was beaten by first-round submission by former two-division champion Randy Couture in Boston.