Ever since Don “The Dragon” Wilson uttered those fateful words way back in one of the UFC’s early PPV broadcasts, that the “UFC was better than boxing,” there has been an uneasy relationship between the two sports. That probably isn’t what kicked the bad feelings off, but it certainly felt like one of the first clear shots in the battle. Over the 20+ year history of MMA as a premiere combat sport boxers have become fighters and fighters have become boxers, but crossover at the higher ends of either profession is still rare enough for it to feel like something special.
Perhaps that is what Vic Darchinyan the former WBA, WBC, and IBF super flyweight champion is trying to grab hold of when he makes his pro-MMA debut this April. Darchinyan’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, spoke to MMA Fightingabout the plans for the former boxing star’s cage debut.
“They actually gave him a fight in Australia already,” Tarverdyan said. “It’s good pay, he’s happy and he wants to do it.”
“He told me ‘I’m coming around there, and I’m being honest, I just need three or four inches, and then I’ll punch somebody and break somebody’s jaw, even on the ground,'” Tarverdyan said. “I’m like, Vic, ‘it’s not all about a couple inches,’ he goes, ‘no, no, no, all I need is just a little bit of distance, and when I hit him I’ll break him.'”
Darchinyan’s confidence may or may not speak well of his prospects in MMA. Aside from his age (he’s 38) Darchinyan hasn’t exactly been a picture of power punching prowess in his later years. And while I’m sure he can box circles around 99.9% of the opposition in MMA, boxers, with very rare exception, have not gotten that opportunity when they enter the cage. However, Darchinyan has done some training with Ronda Rousey in the past, mostly to improve Ronda’s own stand-up game, so he shouldn’t be entering the cage with a blind eye to the dynamics of MMA competition.
Darchinyan will be training alongside Rousey, Manny Gamburyan, and Francisco Rivera at the Glendale Fight Club in preparation for his debut. There’s no word yet as to the opponent, exact date, or even the promotion under which he’ll be fighting, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted as more info becomes available.
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