LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Muhammad Ali’s grandson, Biaggio Ali Walsh, believes his grandfather would have been a great mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
Ali Walsh, 24, makes his second Professional Fighters League (PFL) appearance this weekend (Fri., Apr. 7, 2023) against Isaiah Figueroa inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After a successful high school football career, the grandson of one of the greatest boxers of all time decided to fight, but not box, choosing mixed martial arts (MMA) instead.
During PFL 2 media day, Ali Walsh — who was 2-1 as an amateur — was asked if he thinks his legendary grandfather would have been good at MMA. He also offered his thoughts on a fantasy matchup between UFC Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, and Ali.
“I think just his mentality alone would take him very far,” Ali Walsh told reporters. “You know, if he obviously wrestled, did jiu-jitsu, and did all these other things that are pretty much required for MMA, I think he’d do great.
“Jon Jones actually looked up to him, as far as mentality and stuff like that,” he continued. “So, if Muhammad Ali was an MMA fighter and he was fighting against Jon Jones, it’d be a great fight because they both have that mentality. So yeah, I think he’d hold up pretty well.”
While Ali never had the chance to fight in modern MMA, he sort of did. In 1976, he was paid a significant sum of money to fight the world Heavyweight wrestling champion from Japan, Antonio Inoki.
It was an iconic and silly fight, but is widely considered the event to kickstart MMA.
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