Mike Tyson has almost ended up futzing around in MMA a few times. Basically, every time he checks his bank account and realizes it’s down to twenty six bucks, rumors start to circulate. But fortunately for us, it’s much easier to land a Tinactin sponsorship than arrange a fight. But there were two times (that I know of, since the second I just found out about this morning) where shit actually happened.
The first was where PRIDE set up a feud between Tyson and Bob Sapp. This fizzled out after one mildly entertaining shouting fest between the two at ringside. Years later there would be new attempts to bring Tyson into PRIDE for a New Years Eve fight in Macao, but I don’t count this since it was essentially a ghost booking that never even looked close to happening.
The second was where Mike Tyson actually got into the cage … albeit only to ref a fight in the UK. This was pre-TUF times, practically stone age shit going down. Hywel Teague from Fighters Only has the story, which is an interesting glance into the state of MMA in the UK just a few years ago:
The highlight of the evening for all the wrong reasons was when Tyson stepped into the cage as guest referee for a bout between Terry Etim and Spaniard Diego Gonzalez. Admitting to me in front of dozens of reporters at the press conference two day previous that he had absolutely no training as a referee (that got me some very dirty looks and a ‘talking to’ from the promoters after) he looked lost in the cage and was actually being guided by a Dutch referee (whose name I forget) from the other side of the fence.
Check out the entire story at Notes From Ringside.