Photo of IBO Bantamweight Champion Vic Darchinyan via BoricuaBoxing.com.
Australia's Herald Sun reports that pint-sized Armenian powerhouse Vic "The Raging Bull" Darchinyan, who will fight for the WBA "Super" bantamweight title this Saturday (Dec. 3, 2011), plans to try his luck inside the mixed martial arts (MMA) cage sometime in 2012.
Darchinyan, a murderous southpaw renowned for his monstrous power and madcap offense, is the latest of several high-level boxers to express interest in competing in "the fastest-growing sport in the world," including former titleholders David Haye and Ricardo Mayorga.
Unlike his MMA-minded associates, however, Darchinyan has more than just wicked hands at his disposal. His father is a former Olympic wrestling coach and Darchinyan himself has reportedly developed a solid wrestling base. In addition, he has been training with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight James Te Huna in order to prepare himself for the eventual switch.
What may stand in his way, however, is not lack of skills, but lack of competition.
Though he currently fights at 118 pounds with the intent of moving up all the way to 126 in the future, Darchinyan has historically done his best work at 115 pounds or below. At bantamweight (and I'm talking boxing's bantamweight), he is 3-2 with no stoppages, while at super flyweight or lower, he is 34-2-1 with 27 knockouts, his sole loss coming at the hands of number four-ranked pound-for-pound dynamo Nonito Donaire.
Darchinyan is best suited for the 115-pound strawweight division, not the most bountiful in the world, although he certainly possesses the bravado to fight at 125 pounds. Unfortunately, Darchinyan is also 35 years old, meaning what MMA career he has probably won't be all that long.
Better late than never.