KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UFC middleweight Julian Marquez said he has been in talks with the Kansas City Chiefs and tight end Travis Kelce about setting up a pickleball tournament after the “baddest middleweight in Missouri” challenged Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill after his victory over the weekend.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Marquez said Kelce, the team and Kansas City fans are “100% down.”
“We just got to figure out the right time for us all,” Marquez said. “Mahomes is recovering from a surgery, so I don’t want him to have an excuse when we go at it on the pickleball court.”
The 30-year-old Cuban-American added that he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt before their upcoming NFL season, and that the tournament is just for fun.
After saying that he had no chance at keeping up with Hill in a race, the middleweight said Kelce would be his fiercest pickleball competitor.
“I think we have similar personalities. I just know his character and he’s that kind of guy who would be good at that sport.”
When asked about the potential for his “BFF” Miley Cyrus to join him as a doubles partner, Marquez said he would love to have her as a partner, but this challenge is 1-on-1.
“I’m going for the baddest man in Kansas City and I can’t have a partner in this,” Marquez said. “It’s gotta be 1v1 and we’re gonna have it tournament style.”
Marquez envisions a bracket style tournament where he matches up with one of the Chiefs stars and the winners of both matches would face off in a championship round for the title of the pound-for-pound champ of Kansas City.
“The Cuban Missile Crisis” believes it would end with him and Kelce in the final match up.
“There would be a lot of trash talking, a lot of jokes, maybe a couple dances. We’ll probably Tik Tok it out, but I’m just saying, I hope he comes with that energy that he brings on the field.”