Seven UFC fighters who could cross over to boxing after Dana White hinted at big announcement in ‘next couple of weeks’

DANA WHITE hinted he is making an imminent move into boxing with a big announcement to come in 'the next couple of weeks’.

The UFC president had revealed plans to launch Zuffa Boxing in 2017, before Conor McGregor lost to Floyd Mayweather.

And despite the venture since being shelved, White recently told BT Sport: "And we’ll probably have something to announce here soon.

"Yeah [it is in the world of boxing]. When it’s time, I’ll let you know, I’m not ready yet. But [it’ll be] in the next couple of weeks."

It sparked speculation White could again be preparing to bring some of his UFC stars over to boxing.

Here SunSport takes a look at seven UFC fighters who could swap the cage for the ring.

Conor McGregor

McGregor, 32, is not the only UFC star to have laced up the gloves – but he's certainly the most recognised.

His debut ended in a tenth-round defeat against Mayweather, but the 'money-fight' saw the Irishman pocket around £80m.

McGregor, who boxed as an amateur until he was 16, had vowed to return to the ring, eyeing a rematch with Mayweather, 43.

He has since hung up the gloves, but even in retirement the southpaw teased a lucrative boxing match against Manny Pacquiao.

Jorge Masvidal

Masvidal has been credited for possessing one of the best boxing abilities in the UFC.

It was the first sport he took up while achieving success as a street fighter in Miami.

The 35-year-old has a deep routed love for boxing and idolises Panamanian legend Roberto Duran – who walked him out before his win against Nate Diaz last November.

Masvidal, who has one pro boxing win, has shared an interest in lacing up the gloves, previously calling out Mayweather and more recently Canelo Alvarez.

Nick and Nate Diaz

The Diaz brothers have taken the fundamentals of a solid jab and slashing hooks to the body into the octagon with them.

Both have made a name for themselves sparring with pro boxers, especially Andre Ward.

Ward, a two-weight champ and modern great, sparred the brothers during his career and gave high praise to the two.

He said: “Those boys could do good in boxing. Anytime I’ve fought a left-hander I’ve had them over in camp.

"They lasted the whole camp, they can take it and dish it out.”

Stipe Miocic

Before Miocic became heavyweight champion, he boxed as an amateur as well as wrestling at college.

He won the Cleveland Golden Gloves, and has taken it into his UFC career with 15 knockouts in 20 wins.

Miocic has opened the door to boxing before, even calling out champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

The 38-year-old said: “I would love to box. If there’s a chance I could fight Joshua or Fury or something like that, it’d be great."

Francis Ngannou

Another heavyweight eyeing a move into the ring is hard-hitter Ngannou, who has won 11 times by KO in 15 wins.

When the 34-year-old first started training aged 22, he wanted to be a boxer but transitioned into MMA as there was more chance to make money.

He told Mike Tyson he still dreams of making his boxing debut, and was linked with facing Dillian Whyte.

Ngannou has also sparred Brit Joe Joyce, while later calling out WBC king Fury.

Dustin Poirier

After Poirier was beaten by McGregor in 2014, he moved up to lightweight, and has won ten of his last 13 fights.

A major part of the 31-year-old's success was his improved boxing and power, so much so that he wants to spearhead Zuffa Boxing's launch against either Nate Diaz or his brother.

Poirier told MMA Junkie in January: “I’d be willing to box him if they wanted to do that.

“I wish Zuffa Boxing was around and we’d have an opportunity – him and his brother were always talking about crossing over to boxing, I’d love to put the paws on him and show you guys my boxing skills.”

Cody Garbrandt

Years before Garbrandt became bantamweight champion, he started as a successful amateur boxer, with a reported 32-0 record.

The 29-year-old is one of the fastest fighters in the UFC and with ten KOs, he has proven to have power in his hands.

He even called out McGregor to a boxing match in 2017, telling ESPN: "No ill will towards the guy, but I actually believe I'm a better boxer.

"I feel like I'm one of the best boxers in the UFC. I'll go in there and knock Conor the f*** out in a boxing ring, just to be honest.

"I would knock him out, that's it. I have the best boxing in the game, in the UFC, and I'm ready to showcase it on another level."

Israel Adesanya

Current unbeaten middleweight champion Adesanya has one of the most diverse striking styles in the UFC.

A champion kickboxer previously, the 31-year-old is more renowned for mixing his unique but pinpoint strikes up.

But he has boxed before in his homeland of New Zealand, amassing 6-1 record at cruiserweight and light-heavyweight.

Adesanya last boxed in 2015, three years before his UFC debut, and emerges as one of the sport's most experienced boxers.

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