"Hand-eye coordination and footwork. Basketball is a lot about angles and positioning your body and having your feet in the right position. A lot of the footwork drills and conditioning we do in MMA we did in basketball: explosive drills, box jump. It's the same type of athleticism to fight. Basketball players are lean, long, and explosive. I think it translates perfectly. Basketball is a lot of up and down, stop and start, quick explosive movements from side to side. A lot of the boxers I knew who came from basketball did very well. I think more basketball players should cross over. I think in the next 10 years you'll see more basketball players migrate over to MMA."
Move over collegiate wrestlers, there's a new hotbed for up-and-coming mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. Admittedly, I never expected it to be basketball players, though Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Walt Harris -- a former Division-1 cager out of Jacksonville State University -- makes a pretty good case to UFC.com for his fellow hoopsters. But will the proof be in the pudding? Harris (6-2) lost his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale last month in Las Vegas -- to a wrestler -- and will need to pull even against Nikita Krylov at UFC on FOX 10 this Saturday night (Jan. 25, 2014) in Chicago, Illinois (details). Until then, let's get some feedback on "The BIg Ticket's" assessment. NBA in UFC by 2024?