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Mavs assistant coach reintroduced Deron Williams into MMA passion, business

Deron Williams

Now two years out from his last appearance in the NBA and effectively retired, three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams has recently ventured into the sport of MMA. The 35-year-old is now a part owner of Fortis MMA, a fast-rising Dallas-based mixed martial arts gym, and Williams credits his former assistant coach during his time with the Dallas Mavericks for opening his eyes to the wonderful world of MMA:

“I’m from Dallas originally and when I went back to play for the Mavericks in 2015, one of my assistant coaches, Jamahl Mosley, is a jiu-jitsu guy,” Williams explained, via Daniel Vreeland of FloCombat. “We had definitely talked about our love for MMA and jiu-jitsu. He said, ‘You should come do a private with me [and] this coach I’ve been working with.'”

Williams got so much into the sport that he decided to invest in the business. The two-time All-NBA guard shared how this venture came to be:

“I started doing privates with [Fortis MMA founder Sayif Saud] just for the love of it, just for the work out,” explained Williams. “At the time, I didn’t know it, but he was working on opening Fortis,” Williams explained. “After probably six months of training with him on the regular and we became friends, he was like, ‘Let me show you something.’

“He took me over to Fortis and this was before—they didn’t have any mats down, still working on the finishes and the bathrooms and stuff like that, but you could definitely see the space coming together,” Williams recalled. “I knew how good of a coach he was and I had gotten to know some of the fighters at that time. So I was like, ‘Man, how can I be a part of this?’”

It appears Williams may have a future in MMA, be it inside the Octagon or behind the scenes. If he is able to channel the passion and dedication he had during his time in the NBA, he should be able to find success in any venture.