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Arlovski and Bisping Deepen MMA-Boxing Ties

Mixed Martial Arts is a full-on legit sport, not only drawing athletes from judo and wrestling but even exerting a gravitational pull on those less lucrative sports, drawing athletes and even distorting the nature of the game. The one combat sport that has so far most resisted integration into MMA is boxing, the big money, big time showpiece combat sport of the western world for the last 150 years.

Those boundaries are beginning to break down.

Top-flight cruiserweight David Haye has been talking MMA for a while, now he's training with UFC star Michael Bisping:

DAVID HAYE has stepped up his involvement with Ultimate Fighting Championship by inviting British UFC star Michael Bisping to train with him in Cyprus.

Bermondsey boy Haye, who has previously expressed an interest in fighting inside the UFC octagon when his boxing career comes to an end, is set to train with the Mancunian later this summer, as he prepares to make his heavyweight bow later this year.


"Mike's already a very well-rounded MMA fighter. But we've agreed that some pure boxing practice could go down a treat and help him fulfil his goal of becoming the champion. I will also be learning some grappling and clinching techniques from Mike to incorporate into my boxing game.

It's very much a two-way street. Former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski will be cornered by boxing legend Freddie Roach at Affliction:

Freddie Roach, a former professional boxer himself, was taught by the legendary Eddie Futch. After a career of tough and exciting fights that earned him a record of 39-13 (15 KOs), Roach hung up his gloves and began his career as a trainer, molding and working with champions like Manny Pacquiao, James Toney, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Virgil Hill, Israel Vazquez and Wayne McCullough to name a few. Now Roach embarks into the world of mixed martial arts with another former champion, Arlovski, and he looks forward to bringing his success from the boxing world.

This is exciting stuff. Almost fifteen years since the first UFC, and more than thirty years since Antoni Inoki lured Muhammad Ali into a kinda sorta proto-MMA bout, we're getting closer to the day when MMA truly becomes the ultimate testing ground for all combat sports athletes.

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