Shaq: [UFC athletes] are probably the greatest athletes ever, Better Than NBA & NFL

Shaquille O’Neal’s legacy in basketball is undisputed. His dominance on the NBA court remains unparalleled, owing much to his extraordinary athleticism and imposing physical presence.

Standing over 7 feet tall and weighing more than 300 pounds, Shaq redefined what it meant to dominate the game of basketball. His sheer athleticism allowed him to overpower opponents like no other before him.

The former Lakers and Heat star recently shared his views on athleticism across different sports during an episode of the Pound 4 Pound podcast.

Shaq thinks the most athletic individuals aren’t necessarily found in basketball, football, or tennis but rather in the world of UFC.

He said: “You guys [UFC athletes] are probably the greatest athletes ever because you have to, like us [NBA Athletes] – run, jump. Football [NFL athletes]- run, tackle. Tennis – tuk tuk tuk. There’s no knock on everybody, but you guys, the way you train, the way you get hit, knocked out, knocking people out, you guys are the greatest athletes.”

Shaq is well familiar with the UFC competitors’ physical prowess. The NBA player was handily lifted by former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. Remarkably, the UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili also could pick him up.

Shaq has been an fan of mixed martial arts  since Vitor Belfort sent him tickets to the Brazilian’s first-ever professional MMA match. O’Neal now has a large UFC buddy list, which also includes Henry Cejudo and Kamaru Usman. Both of them are the hosts of the Pound 4 Pound podcast.

It seems like Shaquille O’Neal has been a devoted MMA fan ever since he saw Vitor Belfort easily defeat the larger Jon Hess in a matter of seconds. He has also developed a friendly relationship with Dana White, the CEO of the UFC.

Shaq claimed he follows the bouts of several contenders but does not actively watch every UFC event. On the Pound 4 Pound podcast, the former NBA MVP disclosed their identity. Shaq’s favorite competitors include Usman, Israel Adesanya, Sean O’Malley, Francis Ngannou, and Jon Jones.