The snooker star, 46, who is enjoying a break after his record-equalling seventh World Snooker Championship title, has told of his ambition to "get grappling" with the Liverpool-born fighter. The world No 1 said to The Sun: “I was always a boxing fan but then I watched a couple of UFC fights and I absolutely loved it.
“The grappling, there is such skill involved in that, then there’s the fighting side of it. I’m into UFC, cage fighting, even Cage Warriors, the guys who are coming up.
"Some of those fights are brutal because they want to get to the UFC and they’re fighting for their lives there. I went to Paddy’s gym to watch his drills and I was open at the time to getting into a cage to do a bit of sparring. At some stage I will go to the gym in Liverpool and get grappling.”
Indeed, O'Sullivan won World Championship at the Crucible after beating Judd Trump 18-13. And he stated his belief that all future competitions should stay at the ironic theatre, though he did concede that if an offer for the game to be played in China came up, he would not complain.
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“I really like the Crucible, I think it’s an amazing venue,” O’Sullivan told talkSPORT. “It’s sort of iconic, there’s a brilliant atmosphere. It is our best venue and I’d only move it if they could get 5,000 people which would mean double the prize money.
"Or unless China come in with an offer that you just couldn’t refuse. Otherwise why would you move it from Sheffield? Sheffield has been great to snooker, it’s sort of like the home of snooker really.
"Until someone comes up with an offer you can’t refuse then I’d just keep it where it is.”
The Essex-born star is now tied with Stephen Hendry for the most world titles in the sport. In the final in Sheffield, Trump won six of eight frames - but then O’Sullivan rolled his opponent over as he four of the last six frames.