Tyson lauds 'illuminating' MMA

ESPN staff
June 26, 2012
Mike Tyson has made no secret of his admiration for MMA

Mike Tyson has expressed his admiration for MMA by stating his belief that any fighter worth his salt "needs to participate in" the sport.

Speaking to ESPN's PTI show the former world boxing heavyweight champion, who has stated his appreciation of the full contact sport, was asked for his opinion on the rise of MMA and was forthright in his praise.

"Yeah I have to like MMA, because of the state of boxing now - I'm talking about the collective state of boxing - there are individual boxers who are sensational, and we will always love them, but the collective state of boxing is so 20th Century now," said Tyson.

"You actually expect the decision of who is going to get robbed, that this is going to happen, and that just leaves a bad tasted in people's mouths."

He continued: "Now we have the MMA which is a very illuminating sport which everybody needs to participate in, I think, if you're going to be in the fight game.

"There is no doubt I am a 100% boxing man but I'm a fighter foremost, once and for all, and I think in order for boxing to come back they have to bring the best fighters fighting the best fighters.

"You've got a Chad Dawson fighting an Andre Ward, those are the fights people want to see, not he's scared to fight the guy because the guy's five pounds bigger than him.

"The name of the game is fighting and if you're fighting in the street you're not going to ask the guy 'Are you in shape? How much do you weigh?'"

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