With a brutal knockout record, explosive speed and a father who was an Olympic wrestling coach, Vic Darchinyan has all the tools to make the transition to cage fighting.
As the Ultimate Fighting Championship prepares to explode in Sydney this week, the Raging Bull - with six boxing world titles - has spoken of his desire to enter the octagon.
Darchinyan has been training with Parramatta Eels cage fighting guru James Te Huna in the lead-up to his next fight against Mexican Rodrigo Guerrero in California on March 6.
"At the right time, I want to have a go at cage fighting. I've done wrestling since I was very young, so I believe it's something I could compete at if I wanted to," Darchinyan said.
"My father was an Olympic wrestling coach for Armenia, so he was teaching me from the time I was very small. In a year or two, it's something I'm definitely going to do."
Make no mistake, cage fighting is gunning to overtake boxing as the combat sport most-widely accepted in mainstream society.
In the past 10 years in the US, it's evolved from a brutal underground combination of mixed martial arts into a booming multi-million-dollar industry televised worldwide.
The stars of the UFC touched down in Sydney yesterday as they prepare for next Sunday's 10-fight card at Homebush's Acer Arena and will embark on a heavy promotional tour this week.
The event is so popular, tickets to the 16,500-seat venue sold out in a little over an hour.
Channel Ten's One HD will televise the action live and there is talk the free-to-air network might make a play to televise all UFC shows.
Seizing on the groundswell of support, UFC heavy hitters quickly organised for big-screen televisions to be set up at an alternative Homebush live site and started selling more tickets, which have also sold strongly.
Eels grappling guru Te Huna will make his UFC debut against Croatian Igor Pokrajac and has been working with Darchinyan for a month.
One aspect of his training that Darchinyan remains unhappy about is being forced to cancel a month-long US preparation in the lead-up to next month's fight against Guerrero. The six-time world champion has lashed out at the Federal Government after the Department of Immigration and Citizenship rejected his sister's application to travel to Sydney on a student visa.
Despite a $1 million guarantee that Liana Darchinyan would not overstay her welcome and become an illegal immigrant, the Australian Embassy in Russia has so far refused to process the paperwork.
Darchinyan hoped to bring his sister to Australia to help support his wife Olga and son Ruben in Sydney while he was away.
He will instead fly out for the US on February 22, with just 12 days to acclimatise to California.
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