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Five Boxers Who Transitioned To MMA

Five Boxers Who Transitioned To MMA


Five Boxers Who Transitioned To MMA

Photo credit: Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

Five Boxers Who Transitioned To MMA

The announcement of Tyson Fury’s bout with Francis Ngannou and the upcoming clash between Jake Paul and Nate Diaz are just some examples of mixed martial artists entering the world of boxing. Since both sports involve punching, it should not come as a surprise when the likes of Ngannou and Diaz transition over to “the sweet science” and attempt to make their mark in it. However, it is not just mixed martial artists who make the switch. Big Fight Weekend brings you five boxers who later competed in MMA.

Holly Holm

Holm (15-6 in MMA) continues to compete in the UFC but is also an accomplished boxer. Beginning her career in January 2002, she compiled a record of 33 wins against two losses and three draws with nine wins by way of knockout. Holm began her MMA career in 2011 but continued to box until May 2013. She fought at super lightweight, welterweight, and super welterweight, defeating the likes of Mary McGee, Jane Couch, Mia St. John, and Christy Martin. Holm was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2022.

Marcus Davis

Davis (23-11, 1 NC in MMA) fought in the UFC and Bellator, the two most well recognized MMA promotion companies. Roughly three years prior to embarking on his MMA career, Davis was a boxer who compiled a record of 17 wins, one loss, and two draws with 12 knockout wins. Although he began boxing at the super lightweight limit, he weighed in as high as 173 lbs for a bout. For the most part, he competed at super lightweight, welterweight, and super welterweight. On August 28, 2010, he was submitted in the third round of a UFC Fight of the Night against Diaz.

Raphael Butler

Some may recognize Butler (9-2-1 in MMA) from bouts with David Price and Chris Arreola, but he also spent over five years in MMA. In boxing, he was 35-12 (2 NCs) with 28 stoppages. Butler boxed until November 2011 but had made his MMA debut in October 2010. As a mixed martial artist, he had seven bouts with Bellator, winning four. Many of those fights ended in the first round itself. His final MMA bout was in 2016.

LaVerne Clark

Having competed in some of the UFC’s earliest events, Clark (27-21-1 in MMA) began boxing professionally in June 1996. Compiling a record of 14-18-1 with nine knockouts over eight years, he clashed with the likes of Allan Green and two division world champion Tomasz Adamek. In February 1997, he began his professional MMA career and competed in both sports simultaneously until 2004. Having made his UFC debut in 1998, he had a record of 4-1 during his time with the company.

Donald Cerrone

Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier this month, many know Cerrone (36-17, 2 NCs in MMA) for his 38 fight, 11 year tenure with the UFC. He made his MMA debut on February 11, 2006. Just over two years prior, however, he competed in his only professional boxing bout. In November 2003, he faced Geoffrey Spruiell, losing via second round technical stoppage. Prior to his making his professional MMA debut, Cerrone was also a kickboxer.

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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