Following the footsteps of fellow boxers and former WBO champions Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton, Ava Knight has decided to make the transition from being a professional boxer to a mixed martial artist.
Knight is the current holder of the WBC Diamond Championship. She is about to set foot inside the cage for the first time against Shannon Goughary in a strawweight bout set to take place at Bellator 228 in Inglewood, California.
Ava Knight on comparisons with Hardy and Julaton
As soon as her debut fight was announced by the promotion, comparisons between her and the pair of Hardy and Julaton started doing the rounds. In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Knight promptly downplayed the comparisons.
“I’m not Heather Hardy, and I’m not Ana Julaton – it’s apples and oranges. I was a champion way longer and way before Heather even came into boxing and about Ana, I was never a big fan of hers, I didn’t think she was all that great, and I hate to be harsh like that, but it’s just the reality.”
From one sport to another
On the prospect of successfully making the transition from boxing to MMA, Knight stated:
“I feel like I have talent, and I think I can move it into other areas. There’s no reason for me not to be good at something else as long as I work hard for it, even though I was so good at boxing.”
Ava Knight aims to become an active champion in both the sports. She believes that as long as she stays healthy, being a current champion in both boxing and MMA is possible.
“I think if Bellator wants to keep giving me fights, and then Mayweather Promotions jumps on and wants to keep me in, I feel like this is something doable. As long as I don’t get severely injured in a fight, I feel like I have the opportunity to be able to be a current champion in both sports. I don’t know of anyone that’s done it. I know Holly Holm went from one to the other, but nobody has been a champion in both sports at the same time.”