Former Boxing Champ Lovemore Ndou Plotting Career Path to UFC

Alan DawsonContributor IIIDecember 1, 2012

Can NDou replicate his boxing successes in MMA?
Can NDou replicate his boxing successes in MMA?Gallo Images/Getty Images

A former IBF world title-holder of the junior welterweight division in boxing, Lovemore Ndou switched fighting disciplines earlier this year. He won his debut cage fight on Saturday, December 1 as the 41-year-old defeated Aswin Cabuy via submission.

The two traded blows in Newcastle, Australia in a featherweight attraction until Cabuy tapped out when Ndou applied a forearm cross choke-hold.

Buoyed by the victory, Ndou now has aspirations of breaking into premier mixed martial arts promotion UFC: "[I] won my MMA debut by submission," he revealed on his Twitter account today. He added: "UFC here I come!"

Ndou, dubbed the "Black Panther" during his boxing days, commanded a respectable 20-year career in the ring and amassed a 49-13-2, 31 KO record. Ndou picked up the IBF version of the world title at 140 lbs in 2007, but lost it to Brooklyn technician Paul Malignaggi in his following fight.

Ndou was largely a gatekeeper to world level status and, even though he lost to his toughest opponents—Saul Alvarez, Junior Witter, Miguel Cotto, Sharmba Mitchell and Kell Brook—he always went the distance; a testament to his durability.

Ndou's fight was with the Combat8 promotion in Australia which combines elements of shoot-boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, six ounce MMA-style gloves and a cage.

With his successful transition from boxing, Ndou has emulated a growing number of pugilists who adopt an alternative (or an additional) fighting discipline.

Former heavyweight boxer Ray Mercer competed as a mixed martial artist, yet was submitted by a guillotine choke by street brawler Kimbo Slice in an unsanctioned bout in 2007. Headline-magnet James Toney also embarked on an unsuccessful foray in MMA when he was taken down with an ankle move by UFC star Randy Couture.

At least Ndou has gotten off to a winning start…