In a time where combat sports have never been more popular it is an interesting idea to compare athletes across different disciplines to decide who is really the best. This initially led to the well documented and highly publicized boxing bout dubbed “The Money Fight” between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather that took place in August of last year.
It comes as no surprise that other fighters have been willing to make the crossover for publicity and pay. In the prelude to the McGregor-Mayweather fight, current heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic tweeted to British boxing heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua with regards to such a spectacle.
Earlier today WBO Junior Lightweight standout Vasyl Lomachenko uploaded this short clip of some wrestling drills (we use the term drills lightly) to Instagram. Short and lighthearted in nature the clip has still been enough to get fans thinking of the possibilities of a future MMA appearance for Lomachenko.
The likelihood of this hypothetical crossover occurring are, even with the most hopeful of outlooks, rather tenuous. Currently sitting on a professional record of 10-1 in boxing and pushing up to third place on Ring magazines pound for pound list, there does not seem to be much substantial reasoning for making a move to MMA. It is however, fun to imagine the possibilities regardless of the probability. As a whole we have seen a rare few crossovers with the majority moving from MMA to boxing rather than the reverse. The biggest and most apparent reason for this being the relative complexity of the ground game, which it is often debated would not allow a boxer to perform well in a mixed martial arts bout. What makes the case for Lomachenko a little different is as a child Lomachenko competed in a number of martial arts seen as critical to MMA such as Greco Roman wrestling, Judo and Sambo.
The highlight reel type montage shows a young Lomachenko dominating in each of the various sports. Despite being brief we see a well executed armbar, hip toss and suplex alongside a clear understanding of the fundamentals of ground control which is crucial to MMA.
This is not Lomachenko’s first flirtation with MMA. In March of last year Lomachenko met with Current UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw for four four-minute rounds of boxing sparring. Caution must be taken when viewing sparring footage as it does not necessarily translate to a fight but there are a few things we can gleam for this footage. At first TJ Dillashaw manages to land a couple of flush blows on Lomachenko but from there on it becomes a one man show with Lomachenko out landing and out pacing Dillashaw as expected.
It seems clear that Lomachenko could theoretically make a successful crossover to MMA, which I believe would be more successful than anyone before him. But will it happen? Only time will tell.