MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that they had signed Cosmo Alexandre, a very accomplished standout in the world of muay thai and kickboxing. Alexandre has not had any MMA fights but has been training MMA for a while in America. Right now, Cosmo trains out of Imperial MMA, with the likes of Rashad Evans, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, Jorge Santiago and most recently Tyrone Spong. "Good Boy" has accomplished feats such as winning the 2009 King's Cup tournament and holding the It's Showtime 77MAX World Title.
One of the most interesting things about this is that Cosmo has never fought in MMA before. Bellator is signing him solely based off of his credentials in stand up fighting. It's a bold move by Bellator. They must be making the assumption that Cosmo has trained for long enough to have grappling skills that will get him by.
Cosmo will be fighting at 155 lbs in the Lightweight division. In kickboxing, Cosmo normally fought at 160 and in recent years moved to 170. This year, Cosmo started cutting to 155 where he posted a 1-2 record at the weight. Cosmo's optimum weight would probably be 160, but there's no division for that in MMA and 155 is the closest thing. Either way, 155 and 170 are filled with wreslers in MMA and almost everyone will be trying to take him down.
Recently, some high profile kickboxers have talked about fighting MMA. Tyrone Spong looks to be all but headed to MMA by next year. Andy Souwer talked about it too, although I think he'll most likely stay in kickboxing. Recently in MMA, we've seen kickboxers try their hand at MMA, and a few have had success. Konstantin Gluhov has been stopping everyone with body shots, fighting pretty frequently with only one recent loss in January. Alexei Kudin just knocked out two opponents in under a minute to win a tournament this past week. Kudin has won four MMA fights this year and it looks like he'll continue doing it.
This raises the question: Will more kickboxers try their hand at MMA and possibly even fully make the transition? It's proven that humans will flock to where the money is, and as the sport grows, more and more money is going into MMA. The recent inactivity of K-1, along with several fighters claiming to not have been paid are just adding more fuel to the fire. K-1 was the pinnacle of kickboxing and if they're not paying fighters, many might look for an alternative in MMA.