7 Mixed Martial Artists We’d Like To See Try Their Hand at Kickboxing

With GLORY’S eventual move to Spike T.V. in the works for sometime next year, bloggers and journalists within both the MMA and Kickboxing fields have rumored that there might be some fighters crossing over from Bellator to GLORY and vice-versa.

Regardless of whether or not this titillating tidbit is based in reality or not, we’ve already seen MMA fighters making a surprising impact in the Road to Glory shows, at least the United States. Dustin Jacoby, who shocked the world one 24 hours notice, knocking out tournament favorites Randy Blake and Brian “The Lion” Collette is such an example.

There is an untapped resource in mixed martial arts for kickboxing. Inspired by this, we put together a list of the 6 top mixed martial artists we’d like to see enter the kickboxing ring (as impossible as their transition may be). Keep in the mind that we don’t think these are the only 6 that would do moderately well under kickboxing rules, and if you have others suggestions feel free to leave yours in the comments.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Paul Daley

Paul Daley is no stranger to the kickboxing ring, having competed as a professional kickfighter before making the transition to MMA later in his career. In fact, Daley was rumored to be fighting on the GLORY London card after his Visa for the United States was denied, but unfortunately that deal fell through at the last minute (Shocker). With dynamite power in both hands, Daley starts off our list as probably the most likely MMA superstar to at some point make the move to kickboxing at some point in his rage fueled history.

Possible Match-ups at 77kg

Simon Marcus
Dmitry Valent
Steve Wakeling

2. Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis is already a striker through-and-through. After his most recent brutal dispatching of Donald Cerrone, Pettis would have plenty of fun fights at 70 kg. One of the faster guys at 154 pounds, Pettis’ advantage would be in his footwork and diverse kicking game. While 70kg is without a doubt the most stacked division in the sport, I could see Pettis breaking the top 15 with a bit of alteration to his game. His main issue would probably be his unconventional stance, that’s derived primarily from his background in Taekwondo. Leaving the front leg so exposed could result in talented kickers zeroing in on a target. Still, I’d pay to watch the older Pettis brother take on some of the best 154 pound strikers in the world and maybe land a Tiger Moonsault kick off the ropes (or something).

Possible match-ups at 70kg

Albert Kraus
Mike Zambidis
Artur Kyshenko

3. Douglas Lima

Douglas Lima is one of the nastiest strikers in MMA right now. Fighting out of American Top Team Atlanta and training with the legendary Manu N’toh, Lima’s standup has become absolutely terrifying in the last year or so. With leg kicks that rival the effectiveness of those thrown by Jose Aldo, and huge power to boot (Check out his destruction of Jacob Ortiz at Bellator 79) putting Lima in kickboxing gloves and letting him work without fear of being taken down ( cue Askren flashbacks) is exciting to think about. Not to mention there’s plenty of stubborn guys at 77kg that would love to stand in front of him and trade until someone’s head was buried eight inches into the canvas.

Possible matchups at 77kg
Joe Schilling
Artem Levin
Sahak Parparyan

4. Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo, despite recent supposed shortcoming in his overrall game, is still probably the most complete striker in MMA not named Anderson Silva. While most people might be keen on throwing Aldo into the Muay Thai scene, the 147 pound world of professional Thai Fighters is a different beast altogether. Besides, Aldo takes more of a kickboxers approach to Muay Thai anyway- insanely aggressive, he uses leg kicks to set up vicious punching combinations. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine his pitbull like ferocity matched up against the patience of Masaaki Noiri, or the relentless pace of Liam Harrison. Again, it would be awesome to see how Aldo could adjust to kickboxing rules, and if he could keep up with the rest of a massive division.

Possible Match-ups at 65kg

Yuta Kubo
Masaaki Noiri
Mosab Amrani

5. Vitor Belfort

Everyone’s been wanting to see Vitor in a kickboxing ring for years now. After his renewed fighting vigor, the urge to see him tangle with some of kickboxing’s best middleweights (or welterweights most likely. Kickboxing has some of the largest middleweights in the world. See: Steve Wakeling) Belfort’s lightning fast hand speed stands alone at that level in the sport, and his recent Kyokushin training under Andrews Nakahara has led him to throw more kicks than ever before. How awesome would it be to see Vitor tangle with Nieky Holzken, Kharim Ghajji, or L’houcine “Aussie” Ouzgni? Again, while it should be stressed that Belfort probably won’t come on top in these fights

Possible Match-ups at 77kg

Nieky Holzken
Kharim Ghajji
L’houcine Ouzgni

6. Shahbulat Shamhalaev

Shamhalaev’s counter striking is truly a thing of beauty. More often than not his patience often results in brutal one shot knockouts, as evidenced by his fight against Mike Richman at Bellator 90. It’s pretty easy to see that the man from Dagestan would feel right at home within the confines of a GLORY ring. Not only does he pack TNT in his hands, but he has a fantastic muay thai catch/sweep that he uses to put people on their butts. Shamhalaev would be facing some seriously stiff competition at 145 pounds- Yuta Kubo, Yetkin Ozkul, Kevin Ross, Chi Bin Lim, Abdalleh Ezbiri, Yuki, (sometimes) Steve Moxon, and other fantastic fighters all call 65 kg home, and trust me, they’re all absolute killers.

Possible Match-ups at 65kg

Yetkin Ozkul
Andrei Kulebin
Liam Harrison

7. Anderson Silva

Plain and simple, Anderson Silva has the best MMA striking in the world. But how does that translate over to kickboxing/muay thai? The factor that will make the most difference is probably what you would least expect: The gloves. MMA gloves are very small compared to their kickboxing counteparts, and are difficult to block using a traditional boxing defense. Silva is adept at fitting his fist through the small openings left by tiny gloves, using blistering lazer straight punches and stepping forward to attack with knees up the middle after the opponent is hurt. It would be interesting to see how a kickboxer with solid defense would handle Silva. And while his clinch is certainly masterful, compared to some of the muay thai talents that swim in the middleweight waters of kickboxing, it’s average at best.

Still, what gets Silva through at the end of the day is his persistence, ingenuity, and technique. Much like Fedor or Giorgio Petrosyan in his ability to solve problems, I have no doubt Silva could at least put up a decent fight against nearly kickboxer at his weight.

Well, that’s our list. Feel free to add your own choices to the comments below. We may just take your suggestions for Part 2 of this series coming up next month.


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Categories: Kickboxing, MMA


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One Comment on “7 Mixed Martial Artists We’d Like To See Try Their Hand at Kickboxing”

  1. September 20, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    excellent post, very informative. I wonder why
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