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Morning Report: Dana White says he’s ‘very interested’ in having Jordan Burroughs fight in the UFC

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Dana White post-fight
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Monday night, Ben Askren returned to the wrestling mats for the annual Beat the Streets competition, a charity event that raises money for youth outreach programs in underserved communities. In the main event of the evening, Askren, a former Olympian himself, faced four-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs; it went as one would expect, with Burroughs tech falling Askren with ease. Afterwards, Burroughs commented (per NJ.com) that, “today the MMA world and the wrestling world butted heads and everybody loved it.” How right he was.

Speaking on Tuesday with The Jim Rome Show, UFC President Dana White said that he would be interested in working with Jordan Burroughs should the all-time great wrestler want to make the move to MMA.

“Yeah, listen, I’m always interested in, you know, these guys that are considered the best athletes in whatever it is they do wanting to come to the UFC,” White said. “Yeah, obviously I’d be very interested.”

Wrestling has long been among the most fertile grounds for cultivating elite MMA fighters, and the UFC has already housed a number of Olympic medalists among its roster of fighters, including Olympic gold medalists, Mark Schultz and Kevin Jackson. Should he transition to the UFC, Burroughs would instantly become the most successful wrestler to ever set foot in the octagon, and it’s not a far-fetched proposition. Just last month, Burroughs told ESPN he was interested in taking a fight at the conclusion of his wrestling career.

“I just want to fight one time. That’s it,” Burroughs said. “I just want one fight. Because like for me, it’s not about the status, not about the glory. It’s not about the money. Like, I just want to throw my hands and see what I’m made of. And I think that wrestlers and fighters have that same fighting spirit. Like there’s just a spirit about you that it’s such a beautiful art form in which you can implement strategy in order to subdue another individual. And I really feel like that’s in wrestling and UFC we’re kind of, we collaborate in that way. I’ve always thought about it. I’ve considered it when I was young, I was like, ‘listen, I’m going to fight. I want to be a star. I’m going to fight.’”

If that is Burrough’s eventual goal, he certainly made a good first impression by absolutely dump-trucking one of the best fighters on the planet today. With a perfect 19-0, 1 NC record, Askren is on the cusp of a title shot in the stacked welterweight division. The wrestling defeat to an all-time great certainly won’t set him back on that path but it could set up an interesting rematch down the line, which may have been Askren’s plan all along. After their match, he joked with Burroughs he had intended to grapple him the whole time instead of wrestling with the Olympic gold medalist.

“My strategy was to give up the two, then choke you out,” Askren joked to Burroughs (per NJ.com). “Come hell or high water, I wasn’t going to shoot. I wasn’t going to shoot. You think I’m insane?

“I was going to choke you out and then you’d roll over.”

With White’s revelation that he’d be interested in joining the Jordan Burroughs game, maybe sometime in the future, Askren will get that chance.


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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Yoel Romero (13-3) vs. Paulo Costa (12-0); UFC 241, Aug. 17.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2010: Mauricio Rua won the UFC light heavyweight title, knocking out Lyoto Machida in their rematch at UFC 113. In the co-main event, Josh Koscheck outwrestled Paul Daley for a unanimous decision win. Afterwards, Daley sucker punched Koscheck, getting him banned from the UFC for life.

2016: Alistair Overeem knocked out Andrei Arlovski with a crane kick and punches. It was dope.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading. See y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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