Ryan Garcia, a former WBC interim lightweight champion who is still unbeaten at age 24, may try to change all that. Back in 2021, “The Flash” declared his intention to transition from boxing to mixed martial arts (MMA) at age 26.
To contrast with this information, in recent years, a number of well-known MMA competitors have transitioned to boxing. Ben Askren even put on a pair of gloves to test his mettle in the ring, joining Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz, and all the others.
It’s understandable why so many combat sports athletes see boxing as an opportunity they can’t pass up given the chance for larger payouts and more prestigious fights.
Given that dynamic, it also comes as no surprise that fighters rarely move in the opposite way. In 2010 when he faced Randy Couture, James Toney made a notable spectacle of himself. When it comes to famous boxers who have entered the Octagon of the UFC, he pretty much serves as the beginning and finish of the discussion.
You’re aware of what I’m ready to do, right? Garcia made jokes. “I really haven’t said this out, but what I intend to do is—say, at 26, I’m done with retirement and boxing is fine. You know what I’ll do, right? If they state, ‘Okay, you’ve defeated everyone in the ring, correct?’ This isn’t true fighting, someone says. Legs, choking, submission—those are the real weapons of real fighting.
“Guess what I’ll be doing? I’ll head over there and show them that I’m the world’s best boxer. When I mention wrestling, I refer to hands. In order to demonstrate that God is the best, I will compete in mixed martial arts, and I will defeat everyone who claims I cannot be defeated there. Conor McGregor, if necessary, will get my vote,” stated Garcia.
There are still a few years before the rubber meets the road, but at least it seems like Garcia is still committed to following through on his declaration. Rener Gracie took Garcia through his first BJJ class in a recent video that was posted to the Gracie Breakdown YouTube channel.
Garcia’s current attention is entirely on his boxing profession. Unbeaten at 23-0, “KingRy” is scheduled to face WBA lightweight champion, Gervonta Davis, on April 15 in a 136 lb. catchweight contest. Garcia will be competing in the 140 lb. light welterweight class in the future, thus there won’t be any titles on the line for the fight.
Garcia may not be appearing in the Octagon anytime soon, but it appears like he is building the framework for some intriguing movements in the future.
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