Amanda Serrano has opened up about the difficulties professional boxers face when transitioning into MMA.
Over the years various boxing stars have transitioned into MMA, including the likes of Holly Holm, Heather Hardy and the soon-to-be Claressa Shields.
This past Saturday at the Bellator 238 event, boxing champ Ava Knight suffered the first loss of her MMA career, losing out to Emilee King by way of a first-round submission.
Serrano is a multiple-time world boxing champion in her own right and also competes in professional MMA as part of Combate Americas.
The 31-year-old revealed during a recent chat with WMMA Rankings that when she first begun training in MMA, her coaches failed to teach her any BJJ skills and instead only taught her takedown defense.
“What’s unfortunate for us boxers transitioning into MMA is everyone tells us to just learn takedown defense and stay on our feet basically. Big mistake on all these so called experts. You need to roll, it’s almost impossible not to be taken down when you’re starting out. The minute your opponent hears you’re a boxer the strategy is to take you down.” Serrano said.
The reigning WBO featherweight world champ says that after going to a draw in her first professional MMA fight, she decided to fire her trainers and manager in order to begin training and competing in jiu-jitsu.
“I was told to never roll just get up as soon as you go down and basically box. You’d be surprised who were the ones telling me this. I fired everyone I was working with, manager and trainers, and dove into jiu-jitsu 100%. I even competed in a few tournaments my last one a Blue/Purple belt NoGi division. I won four matches by submission & one by points. Won a jiu-jitsu gold medal in the process.” she said.
“If you watch my first MMA match in which I got a draw, I won the first two rounds but lost the third 10-8, that’s why it was a unanimous draw 28-28. The minute my opponent took me down I was lost. What kept me from tapping was my toughness.” she continued.
Serrano says she could sympathize with how Heather Hardy and Ava Knight were feeling after being taken down in their recent fights.
“If you watch Heather’s last MMA loss & Ava [Knight], they looked like me, lost on the ground. For my second MMA fight I was way more confident and experienced and I became the first boxer to win by submission in the cage. I was told that but I’m not sure if any other boxer recorded one. I’m sure Holly, Heather, & Ava have not.” she said.
Serrano has some words of encouragement and advice for Knight.
“Ava is tough and she’ll return, I just hope she stops boxing while training for an MMA fight and just wrestles and Rolls. I live by that now and feel way better.” she said.
Amanda Serrano returns to the boxing ring this Thursday January 30 when she takes on Simone Aparecida Da Silva. With a victory, Serrano will be looking to fight rising superstar, Katie Taylor, in April.