According to a report on ESPN.com.uk, Ricky Hatton stated on Wednesday he believes he could have been a credible fighter inside the UFC. However, he was quick to dismiss the possibilities of his pursuing a career in MMA now that he has retired from the boxing ring.
The former welterweight world champion has received a little taste of the world of MMA as he has been doing some training with UFC fighter Paul Sass, who is currently training for his upcoming fight against Team Alpha Male fighter Danny Castillo on February 16. Their match will take place at Wembley stadium in London.
Ricky Hatton admitted that he has learned quite a bit from Paul Sass, but added that he also thinks MMA fighters can also learn plenty from boxing.
"They are two very different sports really," Hatton told ESPN. "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. I worked with Paul on how he can get a bit more leverage with his punches by letting his shoulder down or by giving it a bit of a dip.
"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. I took to it like a duck to water.
"Maybe my style would be suited, but I think I'll stay where I am."
Hatton enjoyed the sparring session with Paul Sass, a fighter he believes has potential as a boxer. But he also said that many skills boxers possess do not translate to success inside the UFC.
"I was impressed with his boxing, he's a good puncher," Hatton said of Sass. "I think with the UFC, combination punches aren't the way forward. Obviously the more combinations you throw the longer you're stood in front of your opponent.
"In the UFC you can't do that because they grab you. We worked on some powerful single shots."
The training session between the two was not all about the boxing. Ricky Hatton got a taste of some of the ground game of Paul Sass, at one point finding himself being choked out. Just 24-years-old, Sass gave the veteran boxer a taste of what an MMA ground game is like.
"The Sass-angle was extremely painful; you can feel the blood circulation stop," Hatton admitted. "It's really, really impressive.
"What makes me more of a fan of the UFC is the impressive number of moves on the mat. I was more of a Michael Bisping fan than a UFC fan, but now I'm very intrigued. 20 moves on his back, it's incredible."
Let's just hope Ricky Hatton stays true to his word and never competes in MMA. If he were to give it a try, I think he would learn quickly being a great boxer is not enough in a sport that requires ability to fight from any position.