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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s grandson will step into an MMA cage on Friday.
The 23-year-old descendant of “The Greatest” trains at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, and begins his combat sports journey carrying a prestigious legacy of fighting into the cage. Walsh also brings a D1-caliber football background, which speaks to his athletic ability.
At Bishop Gorman High School, he rushed for 4,508 yards and 65 touchdowns as his team went undefeated from 2013 to 16. Walsh went on to play at Cal for two seasons before transferring to UNLV.
With his football days behind him, Walsh turns his attention to an MMA career. While his family’s combat sports legacy is inside the boxing ring, he was attracted to the clash of styles that so often presents itself inside the cage.
“Growing up, I was always a fan of martial arts and boxing,” Walsh told BroBible. “The beginning of high school I really started to like MMA just because of the different aspects of fighting. You know, the wrestler vs. the boxer, the boxer vs. the karate guy, karate guy vs. judo guy – I really like the idea of a mixture of tools to use in a fight. So, I just fell in love with that idea so, I chose MMA.”
Starting his training in 2020, Walsh began working towards a debut a year later. Unsurprisingly, the grandson of Ali says he likes to strike, but feels comfortable anywhere the fight could go. Walsh says he simply feels comfortable inside the cage and has set a goal of becoming a champion in the future.
When it comes to finding a source of inspiration from the MMA world, Walsh looks no further than the man who has drawn comparisons to his iconic grandfather, current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
“He’s just amazing,” Walsh said. “Watching him, it’s like watching Leonardo da Vinci paint. He’s one of those guys that I’ve really been watching and studying.”
Who knows what the future holds for Walsh, but if he’s anything like his younger brother, Nico Ali Walsh, a 21-year-old undefeated pro boxer with five wins and four knockouts, the Ali lineage could be making a huge impact in combat sports in the near future.
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