A transition to MMA is reportedly in the future for Amir Khan. The former unified WBA and IBF light welterweight champion has expressed interest in stepping into the Octagon with UFC featherweight kingpin Conor McGregor.
Throughout his boxing career, Khan has vehemently stated that he backs down from no man, even if the odds are against him. The British pugilist is coming off a sixth-round knockout defeat against Mexican sensation Canelo Alvarez.
Khan moved up two weight divisions to help make the Canelo fight happen. He would need to do a lot if he seriously wants to fight McGregor. He believes it would only take him a year’s worth of MMA training to get ready for the Irishman.
“I’m not one to back away, I’ve never backed away from any fight and I never will,” Khan told BoxingScene on Thursday. “Conor seems to have the same kind of attitude as well, so maybe that’s something that in the future that can happen. I say why not? I would definitely step into the Octagon with him.”
Matt Jones of Bleacher Report is not a tad bit surprised by Khan’s pronouncements. The emphatic manner in which Khan lost to Canelo has shattered his boxing momentum. It is wise of him to explore other options in combat sports. Jones noted that Khan’s swift reflexes would make his transition to MMA a lot easier.
UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie believes Khan has what it takes to become an elite MMA fighter. However, a year’s worth of training won’t be enough to really threaten McGregor.
“If it was a boxing match I’d put my money on Khan. But a MMA match, it’s a totally different ball game,” said Gracie. “McGregor’s been training for a long time already, so he’s smart, he’s very good. He’s top right now. Having said that, anything can happen, there’s only one way to find out.”