MANILA, Philippines – Retired boxer Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton is a fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) but ruled out a potential career in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Speaking with ESPN UK, the former welterweight champion stressed that boxing and MMA are "two very different sports, really.”
Hatton worked with British UFC fighter Paul Sass, and “The Hitman” said he believes his fighting style may be suited to MMA.
“The UFC fighter is a lot more square-on because of kicks. I wasn’t the biggest puncher in the world, but I used my whole body,” Hatton said.
“I’m not saying I’d be successful in the UFC, but my game was close-quarter fighting. I was always going to be pretty good at it. My game was body punching, and punching my opponent’s chest,” he added.“I took to it like a duck to water.”
Even so, Hatton said he has no plans of pursuing a UFC career.
“Maybe my style would be suited, but I think I’ll stay where I am,” he said.
Hatton said he has come to appreciate the UFC more after sparring with Sass, who will fight at Wembley on February 16.
“What makes me more of a fan of the UFC is the impressive number of moves on the mat,” he said. “I was more of a Michael Bisping fan than a UFC fan, but now I’m very intrigued.”
Hatton retired for the second time in November 2012 after losing in his comeback match to Vyacheslav Senchenko.