Howard: I’ll fight in the UFC for $10M

Maybe he doesn’t realize he’ll need a coach.

Dwight Howard, an NBA locker room headache for 10 years now, says he’d be willing to one day fight in the UFC – for a $10 million price.

The Houston Rockets big man told UFC president Dana White and Rockets teammate Chandler Parsons before UFC 166 at Houston’s Toyota Center that he’d be willing to throw down in the Octagon. The scene was captured on White’s UFC Fight for the Troops vlog.

(Begins at 04:25)

“If I get knocked out, I get knocked out,” said Howard, who signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Rockets in July. “I’ll get back up one day.”

Never one to pass up a huge payday, White was all over it.

“I want to do that pay-per-view when you’re ready, man,” the UFC boss said with a laugh.

White won’t be recruiting Parsons any time soon, though. When Howard said he’d be interested in fighting, Parsons’ eyes widened. Howard asked if he would ever do it and Parsons responded with an emphatic: “Hell no.”

“Bro, I would literally f—ing die,” Parsons said. “They would rip my f—ing head off.”

Those two and other Rockets players like James Harden stuck around to watch one of the best UFC cards ever.

Gilbert Melendez beat a bloodied, battered and punch drunk Diego Sanchez in a Fight of the Year candidate in which Sanchez almost stunningly knocked out Melendez late. In the main event, Cain Velasquez retained his UFC heavyweight title by abusing Junior dos Santos for nearly five full rounds.

The video blog shows Sanchez and Melendez exchanging compliments and pleasantries in the back just minutes after their epic battle. After the main event, we see Velasquez being greeted in the bowels of the Toyota Center by Howard, Harden and a few other Rockets.

In the training room, Velasquez gets stitched up and asks his head trainer at American Kickboxing Academy, Javier Mendez, how the fight was finished. Dos Santos oddly crumpled to the ground after hitting his head on the canvas during a takedown attempt.

“He couldn’t take the pressure,” Mendez said.

Howard seems to think he’d be able to. The 6-foot-11 powerhouse does have about a foot of height on Velasquez. But Dwight might have to wait for 7-footer Stefan Struve’s return from a heart ailment if he wants to see someone eye-to-eye in the Octagon.