BRITISH UFC star Paul Sass believes he has some new moves to take into his next fight thanks to being put through his paces by Ricky Hatton. The Liverpudlian holds the world record for winning the most consecutive mixed martial arts contests by submission, but was keen to learn a few punches from the Hitman.
And it was a mutually beneficial session has Hatton also got to try out some grappling techniques on the floor.
“It was really, really good and a lot of fun as well,” Sass said. “Ricky has taught me a few things I can take away and practice more.
“There’s some little things he showed me that hopefully I can put into my next fight and win by knockout. All my other wins have come from submissions except for one decision, so a knockout is what I need now.
“I got to show Ricky a couple of my moves as well. I showed him my triangle and arm bar and he picked them up really well.”
Sass, who is currently preparing to face Danny Castillo on February 16, was also impressed by the facilities at Hatton Health and Fitness in Hyde.
He said: “The facilities are great. It’s a nice boxing gym and I’ve seen downstairs there’s all the cardio equipment so it’s got everything you need.
“I’d recommend this gym to anyone, not just other UFC fights, and I know when I’m in the area again I’ll be looking to come back here and do some more training.”
Ricky Hatton said: “Paul and the rest of the UFC are welcome in the gym any time they like.
“I feel very proud of some of the people we’ve had in the gym. We’ve had Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Robert Duran plus others and having the UFC in is an honour.”
Some people in boxing have been very critical of mixed martial arts in recent years, but Hatton says the sport has won him over and feels that a lot can be learned from watching it.
“I was always a fan of Michael Bisping but I wasn’t really into the UFC before,” he explained. “From watching Michael I got more and more interested in it and I’ve become very intrigued by it. Paul Sass told me has more than 30 moves and that’s a real talent.
“I presented an award in Las Vegas at the Mixed Martial Arts Awards a few weeks ago and I saw that everything they do is five star.
“The way they put a show together is superb. They have the big screens up, they show all the knockouts beforehand, and they build it up. I think boxing promoters can learn a lot from it.”