The Top 10 MMA Fighters Who Could Transition To Boxing

Andrew GladstoneCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2010

The Top Ten MMA Fighters Who Could Transition To Boxing

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    In the sport of mixed martial arts there have been fighters who have been lethal with their hands and are able to utilize the bob and weaving and the feints thrown in boxing.

    The boxing skills of even the average mixed martial arts fighter have come a long way since the early days of the sport.

    Nowadays you would be hard to find one mixed martial artist who doesn't focus on the boxing aspect.

    Many boxers have bad mouthed the hands of a mixed martial arts fighter, but I believe if these mixed martial arts fighters decided to only focus on boxing, they could potentially make a name for themselves.

    With the level of talent on this list, I believe you could theoretically put almost any of these fighters in any order.

    These are the top 10 boxers I believe that could make the transition from mixed martial arts to making potentially noise in the world of boxing.

10. Michihiro Omigawa

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    Some people on paper may think I'm totally nuts with my first pick off the bat in picking Japanese fighter Michihiro Omigawa, however, Omigawa looks more and more like a boxer with every fight he's had.

    With a record of 11-8-1, Omigawa's record is incredibly deceiving.

    If you doubt the boxing skills of Omigawa than look no further than the video above as he dominated the dangerous striker and DREAM featherweight grand prix runner-up Hiroyuki Takaya.

9. Dominick Cruz

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    WEC bantamweight champion Domick Cruz I believe could make a successful transition into boxing.

    Cruz has unorthodox footwork mixed with speed and accuracy that has puzzled many of his opponents.

    While Cruz has very few knockouts on his record, he is incredibly elusive and has tired many of his opponents out just by how mobile he is.

8. K.J. Noons

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    KJ Noons vs. Conor Heun
    KJ Noons vs. Conor Heun

    This will not come as a shock to many fans of the sport, that K.J. Noons made the list as he already has shown some tremendous hands in the sport of mixed martial arts.

    According to Box Rec Noons has gone 11-2 as a boxer, but has mostly fought the smaller circuit 6 and 4 round boxing bouts.

    In the sport of MMA, Noons has managed won 8 of his 10 fights by way of knock out.

    After taking a two-year hiatus from the sport of mixed martial arts, Noons has looked solid coming back into the sport but there are those who wonder just how far he'd get as a boxer if he faced stiffer competition.

7. Gegard Mousasi

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    "The Dreamcatcher" Gegard Mousasi has shown a wide arrange of skills in the mixed martial arts world.  

    Before entering the world of mixed martial arts, Mousasi won an amateur boxing title in the Netherlands at the tender age of 16.

    I believe one of Mousasi's sharpest displays of boxing came at K-1 Dynamite 2008, when he utilized sharp hand combinations to take out the former heavyweight Muay Thai champion and two-time K-1 World Grand Prix Finalist Musashi.

6. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

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    The twin brother of former UFC and Pride heavyweight champion Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has showcased some great boxing skills in the light heavyweight division.

    Nogueira is not only a sharp boxer in the sport of mixed martial arts, but he has placed third in the super heavyweight division in the Pan American games.

    While Nogueira has only had 5 knock outs in his mixed martial arts career, he has shown crisp combinations and the ability to slip punches.  

    Many fans believe that if Nogueira made the permanent move to boxing that he could fair well and certainly has the background to do so.

5. Junior Dos Santos

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    At #5 is Team Black House fighter Junior Dos Santos.

    Many spectators and even professional mixed martial arts fighters have said that Junior Dos Santos has the best hands in the heavyweight division.  

    Santos has incredibly speed for a heavyweight and has big knock out power as evident by being the only man to have knocked out the always tough Fabricio Werdum.

4. Nick Diaz

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    Nick Diaz I believe is arguably one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport of mixed martial arts.

    Originally known as just a submission fighter, Nick Diaz quickly erased that monicker by knocking out former Elite XC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler.

    Almost nobody else in the sport other than Chael Sonnen throws as many punches as one Nick Diaz and can keep the pace of a fight at a high level from bell to bell.

    While Diaz isn't a huge one-punch knockout style fighter, the accumulation of strikes over the duration of a fight has broken the wills of many of Diaz's opponents.

3. B.J. Penn

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    Longtime boxing trainer Freddie Roach once said how B.J. Penn has the best boxing in MMA and has said he's one of the best strikers he has ever worked with.

    Penn originally started as primarily a grappler but has since transformed into a great striker.

    With a combination of power, speed, and great accuracy, Penn in the past has shown some of the best boxing in the sport.

    Perhaps one of Penn's most brilliant displays of boxing is when he outclassed former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk on the feet.

2. Anderson Silva

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    Known as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, some people maybe surprised why Anderson isn't #1 on the list.  But I personally have him ranked below Vitor Belfort due to his performance against Chael Sonnen and Vitor's overall boxing skills.

    "The Spider" Anderson Silva throughout much of his career has shown a freaky way of avoiding strikes and landing devastatingly accurate punches on the feet.

    Many people believe that Silva's style would translate to boxing well, and some critics even believe that if Silva focused primarily on boxing he could hang with some of the best.

    One thing is for sure, in the world of mixed martial arts there hasn't been many fighters at all that have shown the skills Silva has on the feet.

1. Vitor Belfort

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    At #1 is Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort.  

    While Belfort has had inconsistent performances in the past, nobody can deny that when the fight stays standing that Belfort has shown tremendous hands.

    Legendary for his hand speed, Belfort has been one of the top mixed martial arts fighters in the world for some time now.

    In the world of mixed martial arts there have been very few people who could throw hands like one Vitor Belfort.

    It seems that in the last few years Belfort has finally reached his potential after knocking out such greats as Rich Franklin and Matt Lindland almost effortlessly.

    Everyone has been salivating for an Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort to truly see who is the #1 striker in the middleweight division and possibly the world, but fans will have to wait as Silva rematches Chael Sonnen and Belfort takes on Yushin Oakmi.

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