On Saturday night, Joey Eye Boxing and Xtreme Fight Events host a night of boxing and MMA at Harrahs in Chester, Pennsylvania. The 19-bout card features a mix of rookies on the way up, journeymen and a few fighters just trying to make a few extra bucks. Among them is Waylon Lowe.
If the name sounds familiar, you're probably a UFC fan. The 30-year-old Lowe has a 10-4 pro MMA record and was 2-2 in the UFC, fighting as recently as March, when he lost to Nik Lentz via guillotine choke. That defeat snapped a modest two-fight win streak, and apparently, it also led Lowe to try his hand at a related sport.
Because while Lowe will be on the "Fall Brawl" card on September 24, it won't be fighting MMA. Instead, Lowe will be making his professional boxing debut against Shelby Wilhite in a four-round, junior middleweight bout.
"I cant wait to box", Lowe said in a statement about the opportunity. "This reminds me of preparing for my UFC fights. I have been training so hard with some top notch pros and some who will be fighting for world titles. I feel that I have the strength to knock out anybody, [and] am looking forward to putting on a great performance on September 24th."
Like Lowe, Wilhite will also be making his pro boxing debut.
Unlike many MMA fighters who try their hands at boxing, Lowe's background is actually in wrestling. At the University of Findlay in Ohio, Lowe won three Division II national wrestling championships from 2002-2004. Despite that pedigree, boxing was always his first love, and he dabbled in the sweet science while growing up in Tennessee before fully devoting himself to wrestling, and later MMA.
Apparently, though, boxing has always been an itch he's wanted to scratch. In his UFC bio, Lowe listed current boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao as his hero.
Interestingly, Lowe wasn't much known for his hands during his MMA days, notching only three knockout wins among his 14 pro fights. Though he did have a 56 percent striking accuracy rate in the UFC according to FightMetric stats, many of those punches were landed on the ground, where he eventually took most of his bouts. In four UFC fights, he had 14 takedowns.
Lowe has yet to say whether this foray into boxing is a one-time effort or if he is following a new career path. In preparation for the bout, he trained at the world famous Joe Hand Boxing Gym in Philadelphia.