Tony Bellew could be lining up a shock move into UFC after David Haye was forced to pull out of their long-awaited heavyweight rematch.
Haye had to postpone the fight after he slipped on a staircase during a freak training accident that left him nursing several torn biceps.
Despite the setback, Bellew is said to be exploring the possibility of an “interim” fight while he waits for Haye to recover and previously revealed to loaded that he has already discussed the possibility of a move into UFC.
“I met with some people out in Las Vegas and they asked me if I was serious about getting in a cage and fighting. My response was simple: ‘If you’re paying, I’m playing,” he said.
“I would get in an Octagon in a heartbeat, especially if it was for the UFC title. The guys in Vegas thought I was joking and nuts. I am 100%, deadly serious. I would happily get into a cage. No two ways about it. As long as the money is right.”
Bellew had an opponent in mind too, telling loaded he would “love to fight Michael Bisping” and was confident of winning. “If Bisping got in a boxing ring with me, he would have absolutely no chance. I would starch him in about 40 seconds and it would only last about 40 seconds because I would be laughing at him for the first 30.”
“He would have no chance in a boxing ring, so to make it entertaining I would happily go in a cage, not a problem.” Whether a temporary move into the world of UFC happens or not, however, could simple come down to money.
“If they can match what I get in the boxing ring and make it a fight for the UFC title, I will do it,” Bellew said. With Bellew representing one of the biggest draws in professional boxing right now and a fighter in his prime, UFC could yet be tempted to splash the cash in an attempt to get the heavyweight onboard.
It would also be an ideal situation for the Merseysider, who could use the fight to get in shape and be ready for his return to boxing against Haye. A rematch with Haye, and the chance to settle old scores, remains top of Bellew’s list of priorities though, as he made plainly clear in his previous chat with loaded. “I’d go in the ring with him again. I’d punch his face everywhere again.”