Mike Tyson could have been 'a superstar' in MMA, PFL champion Kayla Harrison claims

  • Tom Ward
Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson could have cut it in MMA according to PFL champion Kayla Harrison. 

Boxing icon ‘Iron Mike’ was once called out by Brazilian UFC legend Royce Gracie as the 6 ft light-heavyweight wanted to put his skills to the test. 

However, according to sports writer Fiaz Rafiq, ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ politely turned down his request as he didn’t fancy his chances inside the cage. 

And the fearsome striker revealed last year that while he respects the likes of Conor McGregor and Khabib Numargomedov, he never had any intentions of pursuing a fight career in the Octagon.

But Harrison – who knocked out Mariana Morais on Thursday night – says there is no doubt in her mind that the 54-year-old would have been a roaring success in the MMA world. 

In fact, she went one step further by claiming that Tyson, aka ‘Kid Dynamite’, could have been a tennis world champion if he’d put his mind to it. 

“I think he would have been a superstar,” Harrison said to Insider. “There are certain people in life who are successful no matter what they do and when you meet them, you know.

“Tyson is no different. If he’d been a tennis player, he’d have been the best in the world — that’s my firm belief.”

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The 30-year-old Harrison (9-0) seems to have taken a page out of Tyson’s book after taking out Morais (16-11) at 1 minute, 23 seconds of the first round in their lightweight bout last night.

It sealed a ninth career win for the American professional.

Harrison is now one step closer to winning a second $1 million crown as she is tied for first place with former opponent Larissa Pacheco on six points apiece.

So it’s no surprise then that the two-time Olympic gold medallist is embracing recent comparisons to former pound-for-pound king Tyson. 

“We’re cut from the same cloth,” she added.

“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I do believe that. Your mindset is a powerful thing and every great champion I know has come from tough times and a lot of obstacles.

“That mental toughness, and that drive from within, it can’t be satiated or stopped.

“So I’m no different in the sense that judo just happened to be what I did. If I joined the tennis team, the championship mindset is that you find a way [to win].”

Read more: Canelo Alvarez, Amir Khan and a moment that changed his career forever

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