Dana White: Tyson Fury has proven he is the best, Conor McGregor’s return and Paddy Pimblett’s UFC impact | MMA News

UFC president Dana White says Tyson Fury’s willingness to fight anyone and everyone has helped him prove he is the best in the world. 

Fury is currently preparing to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte in an all-British showdown at Wembley on April 23, a fight that sold out in a matter of hours.

It had been expected that Fury would go on to fight the winner of Anthony Joshua’s rematch against Oleksandr Usyk later this year, though that contest itself remains uncertain amid the Russian invasion of Usyk’s native Ukraine.

Fury retained his WBC belt with an 11th-round knockout victory in the third meeting of his trilogy against Deontay Wilder in October, while Whyte enters as mandatory challenger after knocking out Alexander Povetkin in their rematch last March.

White says he is not surprised by the appetite for Fury’s success.

“He’s able to sell out Wembley because he has shown he is the best,” White told Sky Sports. “This is what happens when the best fight the best.”

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Tyson Fury says he’s planning to knock out Dillian Whyte in their heavyweight title clash at at Wembley on April 23.

“He’s the best. In the Wilder fights when he took those shots, got back up, won the fight, knocked him out. He’s the best. There’s no denying that he’s the best in the world and he’s finally getting the respect and credit that he’s due. I’m happy for him because he’s a good dude.

“In boxing, the best have to fight the best. When you get all the best guys in the world fighting each other, people want to see it. I truly believe that Tyson Fury is one of those guys who is willing to fight everybody.”

Prior to his agreement with Whyte, Fury had been linked to a future crossover fight with Francis Ngannou amid the UFC heavyweight champion’s ongoing contract dispute.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has meanwhile underlined his ambitions to fight undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in a duel of MMA and boxing’s No 1 pound-for-pound fighters.

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Tyson Fury says his world heavyweight title fight against Dillian Whyte will be the biggest British bout at the weight since Lennox Lewis against Frank Bruno.

A trend of cross-discipline speculation comes five years after Conor McGregor stepped in the ring to face Floyd Mayweather Jr in what would prove one of the biggest pay-per-view events in boxing history.

But White believes Usman should think twice before making the move across.

“He (Usman) is serious about it, he shouldn’t be serious about it,” he said. “I don’t like that fight at all.

“Everything about it is horrible. It’s a stupid fight to make, it makes no sense. I don’t know how many people would be interested in seeing that.

“When Conor and Floyd fought it took on a life of its own. Everywhere I went people asked me if those two are going to fight. It just kept building, building and building. It ended up being the biggest pay-per-view ever.

“Something could come along but the whole Boxing vs MMA thing is silly.”

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Israel Adesanya praised Conor McGregor for ‘setting the bar’ in UFC and MMA.

McGregor is hoping for a return to the Octagon this year, though his timeline remains unclear and unrushed as he continues to recover from the broken leg suffered in last July’s defeat to Dustin Poirier.

“Conor is not even ready yet. Conor has still not healed,” White added. “When Conor comes back and he is actually ready to train and ready to fight, let’s see what the landscape is and figure out who’s next.

“When he’s ready to fight, he’ll let us know. He’s coming into town here in the next month so we’re going to get together and talk.

“The list is right here. The best 10 guys in the world and Conor is number nine. There’s the list.”

White will be in the UK this weekend when the UFC makes its return to London having been away from the capital since March 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Ahead of his main event fight at UFC London, heavyweight Tom Aspinall reflects on the experience of training with Tyson Fury.

British heavyweight Tom Aspinall will headline the event as he takes on Alexander Volkov of Russia, while all eyes will be on fan favourite Paddy Pimblett of Liverpool when he faces Kazula Vargas.

Such has been his impact and popularity, Pimblett has drawn comparisons to McGregor’s emergence as one of the most sought-after characters in UFC.

“They’re two totally different people and there’ll never be another Conor McGregor but Paddy will have his, you know, however his career will go.

“I usually don’t compare guys to other guys but Paddy though, right into the UFC, people were interested and he had a lot of fans.

“If you have guys who have personalities and fight in an exciting fashion like them, it’s usually a no-brainer.”

Pimblett arrives 17-3-0 after stopping Luigi Vendramini in the first round in September 2021.

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