Ava Knight, the ‘Lady of Boxing,’ is making the jump to MMA at Bellator 228, but ultimately, she wants to hold both Bellator and boxing titles simultaneously.
Los Angeles, CA — Bellator MMA is no stranger to welcoming boxers over to MMA, and at Bellator 228 on Saturday in Los Angeles, Ava Knight will become the latest crossover star.
Knight, who boasts a boxing record of 18-2-5 per BoxRec, started in that sport back in 2007, winning titles in multiple weight classes. However Saturday, she’ll make her debut in the Bellator cage — and any cage, in fact.
So why make the jump? Knight told Cageside Press at the Bellator 228 media day that “boxing became kind of a stalemate. I was really doing well with Mayweather promotions, but I just decided to go another route. Have fun, try something new, this great opportunity.” It’s an opportunity that none other than Jay Glazer, who works the Bellator desk, presented to her. “I’m super excited to go this route.”
Despite fellow pugilists like Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton crossing over between sports, “I haven’t watched anybody,” Knight told us. “It’s just like my boxing, I never watched boxing to learn to box. I never asked anyone, I just did it. That’s how it’s gone with MMA. I’m excited that these girls have turned to MMA and they’ve found some good careers at it, and I feel like I can do exactly the same.”
“I’m just taking my own route, riding my own path to this journey,” she continued. “And it’s going to be fun and exciting that I get to do it on my own, with obviously the best coaches, I feel like, in the world.”
Making to switch from a stand-up discipline to a sport where the fight can play out anywhere, wrestling of course has been the big question surrounding Knight. It’s not lost on the ‘Lady of Boxing.’
“That’s the first thing I got to hear online, is ‘you better get your sprawl game up.’ Like ‘no shit!’ you know?” she exclaimed. “That’s all I did for eight weeks straight, was wrestling. And it was so hard, I can say. It’s probably the most grueling workout I’ve ever been through. My legs hurt. And on top of that, checking kicks and learning to do that.”
Knight knows she has lots left in terms of her wrestling education. “I’m not going to say I’m the best, I probably have so much more to learn,” she said. “But with a ten week camp and eight weeks being all wrestling, I feel prepared that I know enough to get up and be where I’m comfortable.”
Moving forward, to goal for Knight is to pursue both sports. “I plan on doing both. I don’t plan on doing boxing. I love it, it’s one of the things that made me who I am. But I’m very excited for this new journey in MMA.”
Boxing could be in the cards sooner rather than later, in fact. Knight told Cageside Press that “I’ve got an offer for a boxing fight after this. But I really just want a belt again. There’s really no point in me playing around with these girls anymore.” In fact, Knight is none too happy about how things have played out in women’s boxing of late. “There’s all these little prospects fighting ducks and bums, and it’s just kind of sad to watch, when someone like me had to fight all these tough girls, and they get the easy route. But it would just be good to be back in the boxing scene, get a championship, and then still be in MMA.”
“My goal is to have a Bellator championship and a boxing championship,” she added.
Ava Knight makes her MMA debut against Shannon Goughary at Bellator 228 on Satuday, Setpember 28. The event goes down at The Forum in Inglewood, CA.