It's been the norm over the years for people to go from one Martial Art into MMA. Top collegiate and Olympic wrestlers such as Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture and Dan Henderson have all done so.
Top boxers such as James Toney, Ray Mercer and former eighteen-time world champion Holly Holm have also made the crossover from the ring to the cage.
It is not the norm however for top MMA fighters to move over to boxing. Nick Diaz, who has trained with the likes of unbeaten Super-Middleweight Champion Andre Ward, has looked into the situation.
Most recently, former boxing trainer of the year Robert Garcia believes that UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez could make the transaction from MMA to boxing.
Speaking to Sherdog.com, Garcia, who has trained the likes of Brandon Rios and Floyd Mayweather's next opponent Marcus Maidana, said:
"There's a local [MMA] gym here in Oxnard, and I have had some of the guys come in and do stand up with us. One of the guys that came in for a few days that was training with me that we were really excited to have was Cain Velasquez.
"He was here for three days and worked with me and everything. I think this guy is not only great at what he does, but he could also be a great boxer because he's got tremendous power.
"When I hold the mitts with Cain Velasquez, right away I told his people that brought him, I said, ‘What do you guys think about training for boxing because this guy could make a lot of noise in professional boxing?' He's got skills and tremendous power.
"He's got good boxing skills. I think a good trainer could teach him how to fight, build up a good record in two or three years and become a champion. I honestly believe so."
Velasquez has certainly shown his excellent boxing in his MMA career. He completely out-struck Junior Dos Santos in their last fight. Considering JDS was supposed to have the best hands in the Heavyweight division, Cain had something to say in that argument. The UFC Heavyweight's combination to knock out Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110 also highlighted how good his boxing is.
Interestingly, British Heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury has in the past expressed his desire to meet Cain Velasquez inside the Octagon for the right money. However, when James Toney made his move over to MMA to meet Randy Couture, it shows that training MMA for a few months and having much better boxing is not good enough.
Velasquez being allowed to box outside the UFC is highly unlikely. Nick Diaz was denied it when he wanted to. However, money talks and if former boxing manager Dana White could promote a boxing match with Velasquez headlining, I'm sure he would... for the right price of course.
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