NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is a self-proclaimed MMA fan who is often spotted at several UFC events. UFC president Dana White and Shaquille O’Neal reportedly share a healthy relationship with each other. However, Shaquille O’Neal’s interest in MMA developed due to one particular UFC fighter, as the NBA legend explained in his latest interaction with ESPN. According to Shaquille O'Neal, he fell in love with the sport of MMA after witnessing Vitor Belfort on his pro-MMA debut in 1996.
Shaquille O’Neal revealed that he was a part of an MMA campaign in 1996 which was organised in Hawaii. According to Shaquille O'Neal, he saw Vitor Belfort’s fight for the first time and instantly fell in love with the sport. Vitor Belfort took just five odd seconds to knock out his opponent in the fight at Hawaii, and Shaquille O’Neal experienced the entire incident live from the audience. Since then, Shaquille O’Neal has been an active fan of UFC and is often spotted at several UFC events. President Dana White and Shaquille O’Neal also share a healthy relationship as the NBA legend proudly claimed in the interview.
During the interview, Shaquille O'Neal highlighted Jon Jones’ arrest in New Mexico and said that he is ready to help the UFC champion any day. According to Shaquille O’Neal, he does not want to kick a man when he is down. While a number of UFC superstars have taken to social media to condemn Jon Jones following his arrest, Shaquille O'Neal has seemingly taken a different approach by offering the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion a helping hand.