Feature | May 07 2016

Amir Khan’s MMA ambitions?

Martin Potter (@theboxingbrain) looks at whether boxer Amir Khan’s comments about competing in Mixed Martial Arts are realistic
Amir Khan
Amir Khan  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

BRITISH boxing star Amir Khan has often been accused of overlooking opponents ahead of upcoming bouts and talking about potential future fights. Prior to his brave middleweight title challenge against lineal belt holder Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Khan took this a step further and talked about fighting in a different sport altogether, swapping boxing for MMA. So could this realistically happen or was this just Khan thinking aloud?

Amir Khan is already legitimately involved in MMA, but from a business perspective as opposed to as a fighter – he is involved with a Pakistani MMA promotion and has sat cage side at events. Therefore there is a genuine link. It is this link and close up viewing of MMA that prompted Khan to say that he thought about getting in the cage, that he could do so in the future and that he saw holes in the fighters games that he felt he could exploit. Khan also mentioned how a fighter like Mike Tyson could have done immense damage in four ounce gloves and made vague reference to having done some MMA training (he didn’t elaborate on what this training was).

Despite all of the above, I am extremely sceptical that Amir Khan would ever compete in professional MMA or that, if he did, he would be successful at an elite level. Khan is undoubtedly a world class boxer with bags of talent but ultimately MMA is a different sport requiring a different skill set. There is also the fact that as a boxer Amir Khan can earn far more than he could in MMA (although as a one off MMA attraction, the Bolton speedster could certainly pick up a hefty pay cheque).