Mike Tyson enjoyed a career as one of the highest paid, most controversial, and scariest boxers in the history of the sport, but he’s definitely mellowed over the years. However, he still enjoys watching a few minutes of violent mayhem whenever he can, as long as it takes place in a ring or octagon.
Tyson has long been a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA) and will be making an appearance on an episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” sometime soon. Iron Mike recently shared his thoughts with the Canadian Press on the topic of boxers giving MMA a shot, such as former heavyweight champion James Toney, who was submitted in the first round by Randy Couture in a UFC event in August.
Tyson didn’t pull any punches and said: “You have to admit, Toney looked horrible. He looked slow. He didn’t look like a seasoned, conditioned athlete. You only had to look at his body structure. No way, Toney didn’t get ready to fight a real, professional athlete like Randy is. It was ridiculous. He had no respect for Randy. I know 100 percent that a boxer could win. As long as he learns how to grapple and wrestle, he could do great. You’ve got to go in there respecting the sport, and not just thinking you’re going to knock somebody out every time. It’s a complicated sport, but a good boxer has to be a great athlete anyway.”
Most boxing/MMA fans probably agree with Tyson as he makes sense. A good boxer has to be an excellent athlete and should be able to do pretty well as a mixed martial artist with the proper training and dedication. MMA incorporates other types of combat sports such as Brazilian Jui Jitsu, wrestling, and Muay Thai, so there’s no reason a good boxer shouldn’t be able to become successful at it if they take it seriously.
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But at the moment, most boxers depend on their boxing skills to get them by in MMA. Most fans call them one-dimensional fighters and unless they can land with a clean shot, they usually end up getting beaten by more complete fighters.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at your sport, it’s going to be hard to beat somebody who’s trained all their life for a different style of fighting. For example, while marathon runners and sprinters both compete in the sport of running, a marathoner basically has no chance of winning a 100-yard dash and vice versa as the training regimen is totally different.
Pure talent doesn’t always equate to success these days when it comes to a sport such as MMA. Athletes need to train hard and learn all of the skills needed to be any good at it. I’d love to see boxers do well in MMA, but am afraid they’re not going to unless they take the time to learn all of the ins and outs of the sport.
Tyson’s right on the money in his assessment, and speaking of Tyson, he seems to have the build and mentality to be successful in an octagon. With the proper training and his low center of gravity he could be pretty tough to beat. Somebody would just need to remind him there’s no biting in MMA.
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