Deron Williams’ boxing journey began with his MMA obsession


Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on November 29, 2016. We bring it back with the news of Deron Williams register for your first professional boxing match against former NFL running back Frank Gore next month.

Mavericks point guard Deron Williams is obsessed with mixed martial arts.

“I don’t miss the fights,” he said. “Every UFC fight, Fight Pass, if I miss it, I’ll record it and watch it later.”

Now Williams takes his obsession to the next level by teaming up to develop a new gym in Deep Ellum named Fortis MMA. It is not just an investment to watch others train, attack or hit. Williams would love to compete when his NBA career is over.

“I think it would be realistic,” he said. My trainer “wants me to fight [in the cage]. I don’t know about it. I’ll be doing some jiu-jitsu grappling tournaments.

Williams, 32, is in the twilight of an injury-plagued basketball career. His last team, the Brooklyn Nets, bought out his contract. The 6-3, 200-pound Williams recently signed a new one-year, $ 9 million contract with the Mavericks.

Williams, who has only played eight of the Mavericks’ first 16 games this season due to injury, says MMA training helps reduce the impact on his body.

“I can better control my body,” said Williams. “I can hit the bag, with very little movement and do a little rolling and get a great workout and learn and drill. That’s what I like about it. … My body took hits from running on the court.

But, he is not yet allowed to be beaten in MMA.

“I don’t think there is anything specifically for MMA, but there is some language that might get you in trouble,” Williams said of the restrictions in his Mavericks contract. “You can’t ride a motorcycle. You don’t know how to ski. If you get injured while playing football, you could almost certainly cancel your contract or face a fine. “

Veteran Damon Jackson, 28, right, trains Ricky Romo, 20, in the cage room at the new Fortis MMA gymnasium on Monday, November 21, 2016 in Dallas. Dallas Mavericks playmaker Deron Williams is part owner.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

Williams, who grew up at The Colony, wrestled from 5 to 13 years old and won state youth championships. He stopped wrestling due to conflicts with his basketball schedule.

Upon returning to Dallas to join the Mavericks, Williams found Sayif Saud, a local MMA coach. The two hit it off and created the new gymnasium which is a short drive from Williams’ home in Preston Hollow.

Named for the Latin word “fort,” the 7,000-square-foot Fortis MMA has been remodeled from an old art gallery. It’s luxurious for an MMA room, containing:

– Two mat spaces, one with many punching bags

– 60 inch LCD TVs to broadcast fights or sports

– Cardio equipment and free weights

– Complete changing rooms with showers and sauna

– An outdoor area with quilted grass

– An upstairs balcony with an oversized chess set, projection screen and putting green

Monthly subscriptions will cost $ 170 for the first 100 members and $ 200 thereafter.

Williams hopes the gym will become a family affair. His wife, Amy, does kickboxing. Two of her four children plan to practice martial arts or wrestling.

And for his Mavericks teammates, Williams wants them to be a part of it as well.

“I want to bring some of the guys here, especially if I’m here next year,” he said. “Maybe do a training camp before the start of the season.”

What if we made Dirk Nowitzki an MMA fighter?

“I don’t know about Dirk. Dirk is almost 20 years old, he has his routine. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But you never know. “

Dallas Mavericks basketball player Deron Williams during the season opener for the Dallas Cowboys against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, September 11, 2016.

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