Heavyweight boxing star Anthony Joshua has no interest in competing in the UFC. For as long as there have been combat sports, there have been crossover attempts.
James Toney was a heavyweight boxer who believed he could compete in MMA. The former heavyweight boxing world champion was quickly stopped by Randy Couture in the first round. Former WBO heavyweight champion Ray Mercer also attempted to transition into MMA and kickboxing. Mercer managed to defeat former UFC champion Tim Sylvia in MMA but lost both his K-1 Kickboxing bouts.
More recently, boxing great Claressa Shields has been making active attempts to become an MMA fighter. She currently is competing in the PFL while holding boxing world titles. Famously, Conor McGregor competed against all-time great Floyd Mayweather in a money-fight battle. Most recently, the heavyweight boxing king Tyson Fury stood in the ring and challenged UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to a boxing match. These are just a few examples, among many, of fighters competing back and forth between boxing and MMA.
However, the Olympic boxing gold medalist Anthony Joshua is not interested.
Anthony Joshua is not interested in the UFC
The British-born Joshua obtained an Olympic gold medal during his amateur career. Professionally, he put together an impressive record defeating notable fighters such as Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, Andy Ruiz Jr., and Kubrat Pulev, among others. He also held prestigious world titles in the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight gold.
But despite all of his impressive boxing success, he has realistic expectations about his chances in MMA and the UFC. In an interview with GQ, Joshua answered a question about competing in the UFC. Anthony Joshua said:
“I would get my ass kicked. All credit to them guys, but it’s not my profession. And I’m going to respect them guys who have spent years putting in time, training, grappling, wrestling, stand-up, takedown, and submissions. It’s like them coming over to boxing, I know I would smoke them as well.” (H/T TalkSport)