In a recent interview with The Bleacher Report Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed that if he wasn’t a footballer he could see himself having a career in the UFC.
“I am a huge UFC fan”, said the Paris Saint-Germain front man. Ibra’s love for MMA is no secret, as he regularly delivers social media messages of support to his countryman, UFC light-heavyweight contender, Alexander Gustafsson.
In March 2014, after the lanky Gustafsson had pulverized Jimi Manuwa, Zlatan took to twitter with this message for “The Mauler”….
Big up @AlexTheMauler. I’m much more happy about your victory than about my game and record today. UFC champ next. Braaaaavo!
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) March 8, 2014
Ibrahimovic has also been there for Gustaffson in the bad times, though.
In January of this year the Swedish fighter suffered a major setback when he lost to the powerful Anthony Johnson. Luckily he had Ibra on hand with words of encouragement and, of course, wisdom. On facebook, always your first stop for profound words of advice in times of strife, Zlatan crafted this message….
“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. That’s part of the excitement, the sport, and life.
Don’t forget that there is a big difference between losing and being a loser.
A true champion gets straight back up after a loss, which you will and become even better.
Sweden proudly stand behind you. Keep chasing your dream.”
His MMA fanboy status aside, Ibrahimovic has more legitimate reasons to believe he could have flourished inside the octagon. The 6 foot 5inch Swede actually holds a black belt in taekwondo, which he earned at the age of 17.
With his size, athleticism, agility, and flair for the spectacular, a young Zlatan would have been an interesting addition to the sport of caged combat.
Here is the interview clip, via the twitter account of UFC Europe.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) August 14, 2015