MMAFighting.com is reporting that former WBA/WBC Welterweight and WBA Junior Middleweight champion boxer Ricardo Mayorga will make his Mixed Martial Arts debut against UFC veteran Din Thomas (25-8) at Shine Fights 3 on May 15 at the Crown Coliseum in Fayeteville, North Carolina.
36 year old Ricardo Mayorga holds an overall boxing record of 29 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest and was well known in the boxing world for his reckless style, pre-fight trash talk, and overall antics; sometimes going so far as to drink beer and smoke cigarettes or cigars in the ring immediately upon winning fights.
Mayorga looks to have entered MMA with the same attitude; his quote in the fight’s press release read, “I conquered the world in the boxing ring all the while I was puffing cigarettes and drinking beer. I won three world title belts and I stood toe to toe with so many legends, as I am a force of nature. Now I will shock the MMA fans and I know so many of my fans from boxing will follow me as I expand my repertoire. They can’t deny me in MMA and I will destroy Din Thomas. I am going to smash him the way I smashed all the big superstars of boxing. To me, a fight is a fight in a ring, in a cage or on the street.”
Din Thomas is no joke though, especially for a man with no MMA experience. Thomas holds notable wins over Clay Guida, Matt Serra, Jeremy Stephens and Rich Clementi and has spent time in the cage with the likes of Caol Uno, Kenny Florian, and UFC lightweight champ BJ Penn. He is currently on a three fight win streak and had this to say about the matchup, “I respect what Ricardo has done in boxing. He fooled many opponents with that smoking and drinking shtick but he won’t fool me. I train night and day and I know he works hard also. But I will send him back to boxing, crawling back to boxing. He is about to get a violent education about the skills he needs for MMA and they are skills that an old dog like Mayorga cannot learn.”
Mayorga marks a growing trend of boxers looking to capitalize on the rapid rise in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts. He will certainly have his hands full with Din Thomas and unless he has been training very hard on all aspects of MMA, it is unlikely that we will see one of his trademark ring celebrations in the cage.