Our friends at Bad Left Hook brought our attention to another boxing champion who is apparently seriously considering a move to mixed martial arts. That fighter, a three division world champion, and the current IBO title holder, Vic Darchinyan (37-3-1).
The Armenian is set to challenge Anselmo Moreno for the WBA Super-bantamweight title this Saturday. During the final press conference for the Showtime event, Gary Shaw gave out this little tidbit about Darchinyan's future:
"If he should win (the WBA title), he probably will retire from boxing, and Darchinyan, will probably go in to MMA, following in the footsteps of Kimbo Slice"
"Vic is serious about going to MMA after he completes his triumph on Saturday night"
Before we break down the prospect of having a guy like Darchinyan in MMA, let's just make one thing clear -- If he does makes that switch, he wouldn't be following the footsteps of Kimbo Slice, a guy who came from YouTube bare knuckle street fights.
Now that we got that out of the way, here's why Darchinyan thinks he can successfully make the jump to MMA:
"I already have a strong wrestling base and am confident I could make the switch... That could honestly happen within a year, but who knows?"
That "strong wrestling base" he claims to have, came from learning from his dad, who was an Olympic wrestling coach.
He might be bold enough to truly make that jump, and he can probably KO a bunch of scrubs and lower level guys, but there are several reasons why he probably won't make that move to MMA, let along be successful in doing so. Here's why:
- He's 35 years old, and he has never really competed or trained in grappling or kickboxing. We don't know how serious he was with his wrestling, but we do know that he hasn't used that "strong wrestling base" in decades.
- He fights at 118 lbs. The lightest weight class is Flyweight, which is at 125 lbs. That weight class isn't even in the UFC or Bellator yet, so if he wants to compete at the big shows, the smallest division they have is at 135 lbs.
- Money. He may be nearing the tail end of his career, but he's still a top-level boxer who can earn more money in boxing, than fighting relatively unknown and low level guys in MMA.
Even if he truly dedicates himself, it will be hard for him to unlearn the things and habits from a lifetime of boxing, to try an learn the finer points of the striking and grappling involved in MMA. Even if we disregard that fact, will he be willing to take a smaller pay check, fighting in smaller shows for the next couple of years? I doubt it.
That being said, I do enjoy these freakshow-ish bouts, so honestly, I'd watch it.