The NBA’s Dwight Howard would step inside the Octagon if the UFC paid him $10 million do so.
That’s according to USA Today’s For The Win blog.
“I would get up there and fight,” Howard told UFC President Dana White. “If I get knocked out, I get knocked out. I’ll get back up one day.”
White replied: “I want to do that pay-per-view when you’re ready, man.”
The exchange took place backstage at UFC’s Fight For The Troops show in Houston.
Howard’s Rockets’ teammate Chandler Parsons also added during the conversation that he would do the fight for $10 million, but he was also very realistic about his chances of survival against trained MMA fighters.
“I would literally f*$!ing die,” he said.
Luckily for Rockets fans who may be wondering if Howard remembers at all that he’s struggled a bit with injuries,
It’s not likely that White would pay Howard $10 million, even if he were to step inside the cage. If Howard, who plays for the Houston Rockets, were to make the jump, he would follow Brock Lesnar, Matt Mitrione and James “Lights Out” Toney as professional athletes who chose to make the jump to cage fighting.
The 6′ 11,” 27-year-old NBA all-star went straight from high school to the NBA. Howard is a 7-time All-Star and 3-time All-Defensive Player of the Year. He won a Gold Medal as a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 2012. Howard was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012, but he never really fit in with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Howard is hoping to revive his career and win an elusive championship with the Rockets. The power forward and occasional center has battled injuries throughout his career.
The rise in the UFC’s popularity has drawn wide interest for professional athletes from other sports. Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has appeared at UFC events and acted as an unofficial ambassador for the sport.