Most were quick to dismiss the idea of Justin Bieber actually fighting Tom Cruise, chalking it up to social media hijinks. But Dana White is approaching the possibility with an open mind, well-aware of the financial windfall that would accompany the celebrity throwdown.
That’s right: the UFC president isn’t ruling out a Bieber vs. Cruise mixed martial arts bout, telling TMZ Sports on Tuesday that “anything is possible these days” in light of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. squaring off in a 2017 boxing match against his wildest dreams.
“Let me tell you what, I’d be an idiot not to make this fight,” White said. “That would be the easiest fight to ever promote in the history of my career.”
This fiasco started when Bieber recently took to Twitter to challenge Cruise — seemingly unprompted — to a fight inside the octagon. Bieber tagged White in the tweet, which caused a social media firestorm, and UFC star Conor McGregor even offered to host the squabble.
McGregor apparently isn’t the only one interested in making it happen, either. White revealed he received a serious phone call about putting the wheels in motion.
“So I’m gonna tell you something interesting,” White told TMZ Sports. “Obviously, this thing came out — lots of people will talk about fighting somebody in the UFC and things like that. Whether it’s NFL players or celebrities or whatever, it happens a lot. So obviously I saw it like everybody else did and I didn’t pay much attention to it. It picked up a lot of steam and was everywhere. I’m not gonna say any names, but I’m just gonna tell you that I got a phone call from a couple of real guys who said that they really do want to do this fight and they believe that Tom Cruise would do the fight. And I told them, ‘Well, I’ll tell you this, if that’s true, if that’s true, and everybody involved in this thing really wants to do it, we can talk.'”
For whatever it’s worth, Bieber has backtracked since his initial challenge, saying last week the whole thing was just a joke.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images