I certainly did not say that Mike Tyson is, was, or ever could be a great MMA fighter. What I am saying is that he is a man who has certain abilities that a great fighter would desire. One of these abilities is devastating knockout power.
That trait alone is enough to stop anyone because it can end a fight in an instant.
Even if Tyson were to KO Chuck Liddell, or any MMA fighter, it wouldn't make Tyson a better all around fighter. The victory would only make Tyson victorious.
It's obvious that The Iceman and MMA fighters are all around more skilled fighters than boxers. MMA fighters are, for the most part, skilled in all areas of fighting. Such is not the case with boxers.
What separates Tyson from most boxers, is his uncanny power. It's not natural.
A comparison would be pitting an eight foot tall man who weighed 575 pounds of solid muscle against Royce Gracie in his prime. Chances are Gracie would certainly be destroyed. The victory would not make the giant of a man an all around better fighter though. Would it?
Same with Tyson and Liddell or any MMA fighter.
Tyson (at 22 in his prime especially) would always have that puncher's chance even against fighters much more skilled than him.
Even if you are a die hard MMA fan, as I am; you can not be blind in your belief or devotion to thinking that an MMA fighter will defeat any practitioner of a fighting style or discipline.
Bruce Lee was very much a practitioner of Jeet Kwon Do (I may have spelled it wrong). He didn't study ground fighting much. I'd still put good money on him if he were to face many of today's MMA competitors in his prime.
Still, even if Bruce Lee defeated Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz or any well rounded MMA fighter; it wouldn't make Bruce Lee an all around better fighter. Judging all areas of fighting, like Tyson, Bruce would come up on the short end of the stick. But, because he's so dominant in the area he targeted, that alone would help him defeat most of his opponents.
People like Tyson and Bruce Lee are rare exceptions. Even a great boxer like Muhammad Ali would lose to most MMA fighters.
Most black belts would get hammered by average MMA fighters.
There are few exceptions like Tyson and Bruce Lee. At the moment I can't think of any others.
Ultimate Fighting Championship