Couture calls for Ricky Hatton to join UFC

by James Robson | source:

Ricky Hatton has been told to quit boxing and become a cage fighter in the UFC!

And one of the legends of the Ultimate Fighting Championship has even offered to train the Hitman to make him a star in the brutal mixed martial arts phenomenon.

Five-time world UFC champion Randy Couture believes Hatton, who hasn't boxed since losing to Manny Pacquiao in May, would be a sensation in the cage.

"I am a big fan of Ricky Hatton," said Couture. "He is a fantastic fighter. I could get him up to speed on the ground wrestling part of it, while he could take advantage of his boxing talent.

"He could make a big difference in the lighter categories."

Major figures from around the boxing world have urged Hatton to retire from boxing for his own safety - but he won't be rushed into a decision.

And although the 31-year-old is currently concentrating on his promoting career, he is known to be a big fan of UFC and suggested earlier this year that it could one day over take boxing in popularity.

"It is all action, proper fighting," he said. "They are going the right away about it to get people interested.

"There is a concern in boxing that UFC is taking its place. People seem to get more value for money.

"UFC would be right up my street, I used to kick box so maybe I would be all right."

Couture, who fights at what is set to be a sold-out MEN Arena on November 14, is convinced the UFC, which has a huge worldwide following, would be an ideal option for Hatton should he decide to continue his fight career.

He said: "A lot of boxers have trouble putting themselves in the situation where they are going to get choked and taken down. But if he can learn the ways of UFC then he could go a long way.

"He is a tremendous fighter and has a lot of heart. There is no doubt he could make a tremendous impact with his heart and determination in the ring."

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Recent Comments »

ClayM site profile image  

10/30/09 10:14 PM by ClayM

In terms of a draw Hatton would easily be that. Just look how many brits travel to see him and if you have him fight in Europe anywhere. He could make quite a bit of money just from a cut of the PPV that he would draw

jaseprobst site profile image  

10/30/09 7:20 PM by jaseprobst

I always enjoy listening to MMA people spout off how much they don't know about boxing, or vice versa.-Hatton has a LIMITED background in kickboxing. He started when he was a kid and maybe only did a couple years of it. He was told his legs were too short for it, so he switched to boxing. So he's a helluva long way from being a decent kickboxer. Urijah Faber would probably school him in a kickboxing match (until he got punched, I guess).-Hatton's weight discussed here is all over the board. Here's the truth -- he is a decent-sized 140-pounder who blows up to 180 or 190 between fights, but walks around at a solid 155-160. He has had trouble making 140 for the past few years, and can't seem to box effectively at 147 (his style and lack of physical strength don't translate well...see the Luis Collazo fight). So 145 in MMA, if he did it, would be a good weight.-Hatton is wealthy enough to where he doesn't need the money. It'd be a Jordan-plays-baseball type of thing. I'm not sure if the UFC would really be interested in taking him on unless he proved himself in a few smaller-level fights. And the development of a prospect crossing over from boxing is, I believe, the most overlooked aspect of these types of discussions. I don't see where putting a guy who's had no fights in the UFC is good for anyone involved. It merely dilutes your brand. When you're Strikeforce or EliteXC, it's almost expectable that you'll try a risky gimmick like this (Herschel, Kimbo, etc.). I think a boxer like Hatton MIGHT have a shot if he were brought along with the well-stated expectation that he wanted at least 8-10 fights to get his feet wet and build his career. Out of all the top boxers that would follow this model, i doubt more then ten percent would really be long-term players in whatever division/organization they competed in. But the ones that DID would be phenomenal stories.Whoever that fighter is should make it clear he's in it for the long haul, not to try some improbable undefeated run up the mountain. Also, Bobby Lupo's post on body type is absolutely correct. I'd take David Tua over a long-legged Lennox Lewis any time for the crossover experiment. Whatever boxer tries this is going to look damn good until he gets leg-kicked or planted on his back. That's when we really find out what he's made of.

LordSeano site profile image  

10/30/09 10:05 AM by LordSeano

Have any of you considered that he might just want to do it for fun.Hatton is on the verge of retiring - he might just want to have a stab at it for fun.Putting him in there with a mma fighter who "likes to bang" would be hilarious. They would get knocked the fuck out.

Granpa site profile image  

10/30/09 10:01 AM by Granpa

I would love to see that. Ricky is a guy you just can't help but root for.

MMAunltd site profile image  

10/30/09 8:59 AM by MMAunltd

Besides that not being anything to do with your original point that he'd be fighting a lot bigger fighters...I don't think he will fight anywhere.  

jjj2121 site profile image  

10/30/09 8:52 AM by jjj2121

So he's going to fight in the WEC where main eventers get 25 and 25? I'm failing to see where you think he will fight.

Bobby Lupo site profile image  

10/30/09 8:33 AM by Bobby Lupo

 As far as a pure boxer goes, I think a guy with 1 shot power and a low center of gravity like David Tua or Samuel Peter would make for the best crossover to MMA in the sport's shallowest division. Lots of boxing defense would be nulified by the small gloves and stance change due to takedowns and leg kicks, but power crosses over. 135-205 is full of multi faceted talented fighters and is nearly impossible to have real success without a strong skill set in all facets of fighting. It would be harder for a lighter weight boxer, as talented as he may be to cross over.

Permy Vitor site profile image  

10/30/09 8:31 AM by Permy Vitor

210lbs? ... No. He is what? 5'7''? If that. About 12.5 - 13 stone at the moment. Out of shape.Randy Courure made those comments to the Manchester Evening News to generate publicity for his next UFC appearance in..... Manchester. Read nothing in to it.

MMAunltd site profile image  

10/30/09 7:47 AM by MMAunltd

 Because the Manchester Evening News probably distinguish between MMA and the UFC? "But if he can learn the ways of UFC then he could go a long way." Probably not a direct quote.