Haymaker UFC Blog

Shaquille O'Neal-Charles Barkley 'MMA fight' won't actually happen

Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley were supposed to throw down in some kind of fight on May 14 on TNT, but to no one's surprise it won't really happen.

Shaquille O'Neal (left) and Charles Barkley aren't actually going to fight. But we would have watched if they had.

Fox Illustration

Remember that whole planned "MMA fight" between Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley? Yeah, that's not going to happen.

O'Neal and Barkley floated the idea last week of "fighting" one another on May 14 during their "Inside the NBA" show on TNT during the NBA playoffs. Both men are huge UFC fans and Shaq recently hosted the pre-FOX UFC Saturday press conference in his Orlando home.

But any kind of fight -- real or staged -- will not be going down, Turner officials told FOX Sports on Thursday.

Barkley and Shaq even gave fans a faux preview of their "fight" last Thursday night when they engaged in somewhat of a grappling match. O'Neal whiffed on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu trip and a single leg takedown, but muscled Sir Charles down to the floor. Barkley didn't tap, but both men looked pretty exhausted after less than a minute of rolling -- or whatever that was they were doing. It was pretty hilarious.

O'Neal has said for years that he wants to fight in the UFC, preferably against former baseball slugger Jose Canseco. UFC president Dana White has put the kibosh on that multiple times, most recently last month in Orlando. Shaq actually has trained in BJJ for years.

"Inside the NBA" is one of the best shows on TV and has the Emmys to prove it. Shaq and Barkley have great chemistry together with Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith. And Barkley might be the most candid sports broadcaster on television. He essentially has no filter.

It's awesome both of these guys are big UFC fans, but it's even better that they're leaving the fighting to the actual fighters. Although, if they really were throwing down May 14 -- legit or not -- we obviously would tune in.

For the record, we would pick Shaq by decision. Sir Charles, though on the portly side, is way too tough to be finished. He's just giving up way too much reach and height to the 7-foot-1 Shaq.