Undefeated kickboxing superstar Raymond "The Real Deal" Daniels will make his highly anticipated mixed martial arts debut against Jeremiah Metcalf (8-4) at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Thomson" at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Friday, June 27
It comes as no surprise that Daniels is compared by many to current Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le because of his kickboxing pedigree and exciting fighting style. He boasts an unblemished (16-0) professional kickboxing record and has won all of his matches in dominating fashion.
The comparisons to Le are understandable, but Daniels is his own man. Here are his thoughts on being touted as the next Cung Le:
"I don’t try to be the next anybody. I look to be greater than Cung and surpass anyone who’s been considered at the top of their game. I try to live up to who I am and I expect great things from myself."
He has tools that have proven to be successful in mixed martial arts. "The Real Deal" holds a sixth degree black belt in Kenpo and Shotokan Karate -- styles practiced and perfected by former UFC champion Chuck Liddell and Lyoto Machida, respectively, as well as a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
And at 27 years old he has plenty of time to work on the other aspects of the game that will be necessary for him to make his transition to MMA a successful one.
If there is anything he does lack, it certainly isn't confidence. Here's another quote from him on making the move from kickboxing to mixed martial arts:
"I still haven’t had any challenges or anything like that so I decided to come over to MMA and see how good I really am. I’m going to give MMA fans something that they’ve never seen before. I want to become the greatest fighter of all time. Anybody that steps in front of me is just gonna be on my next highlight reel, an obstacle that’s standing in my path to greatness."
That first obstacle is Jeremiah Metcalf, who is riding a three fight win streak, most recently submitting James Terry (5-1) in the second round of a Cage Combat Fighting Championships show in May. He has competed one other time for Strikeforce, losing by first round submission (rear naked choke) to current welterweight prospect Luke Stewart in October of 2006.
This should be extremely interesting to put it mildly.
As confident as he sounds, Daniels is setting the bar pretty high for himself. He's putting a lot of weight on his shoulders in his first MMA bout against a 12 fight veteran with four career submission victories.
Regardless, it's shaping up to be another exciting bout to join the main event of the evening between Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson. Be sure and check it out this Friday, June 27, live on HDNet starting at 8 p.m. ET.