Royce White, a former NBA Draft first-round selection of the Houston Rockets in 2012, is making the career transition into mixed martial arts, and he has some lofty goals to go along with the move. The 6-foot-8 White revealed to ESPN that he's entering the fight game, and he believes he has all the tools necessary to make this transition a smooth one.
"I'm one of the best athletes in the world," White said. "Among the NBA community, part of my appeal as a draft prospect was my unique size, athleticism, vision and that I probably have one of the 10 biggest set of hands in the NBA. I think all of those things will translate beautifully to the UFC."
In a book White released on Wednesday titled "MMA x NBA: A Critique of Modern Sport in America," White revealed that he's been training in MMA for the past "six or seven months." While promoting the release of his book, White told The Last Renaissance that he has his sights set on becoming the UFC heavyweight champion during this journey.
"I'm coming for the UFC heavyweight crown," White stated.
At this time, White doesn't appear to have a debut fight lined up within the amateur ranks. But if he should begin to make a name for himself on the circuit as an ex-NBA star, it won't be long before Dana White and Co. have the big man on the radar.
White was the 16th overall pick by the Rockets in the 2012 NBA Draft, though the extent of his NBA playing experience is limited to three games with the Sacramento Kings in the 2013-14 season. He's played both in the NBA Summer League and overseas during his brief professional basketball career.