Muhammad Ali is one of those untouchable legends. Muhammad Ali is a role model for many boxers and mixed martial artists.
He is one of the greatest boxers ever to step foot in a ring and indeed at the top if we can count the effects of his legacy on boxing.
He achieved almost everything in the ring. Everyone knows his accolades in the boxing ring, but very few know he also took part in MMA.
In 1976, Ali decided to lace his boots for a showdown with Japanese wrestling and martial arts legend Antonio Inoki. The bout was decided to be in a pure MMA style, and all MMA rules were to be followed during the match.
Everyone in the arena was aware of Ali’s fast foot movement and quick punches.
At the start, Inoki tried to kick him but fell on his back in the process. For the next minute, he tried to kick Ali by lying down on his back, circling the center of the ring similar to the needle of a clock. First Round came to an end without any serious business.
Inoki attempted to use leg kicks to take down Ali again in the later rounds before changing positions and pulling guard. These kicks did some damage to Ali, as it was reported that Ali almost had to have his leg amputated due to two blood clots that the kicks had brought on.
Ali only landed one or two punches during the battle on Inoki’s chin.
The bout ended in a draw. Fans of both legends were not impressed by the effort and New York Times labeled this as the least memorable event.
At that time, MMA was not an established sport as it is today. Hence, the match between Ali and Inoki was the first one of this choice to bring this sport to the limelight. Ali was involved in many exhibition bouts after that, but none of them had the impact of this bout.