Former three-time UFC heavyweight champion and two-time light-heavyweight titlist Randy ?The Natural? Couture expressed interest this week in converting British professional boxer Ricky ?The Hitman? Hatton into the world of mixed martial arts.

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Couture (16-10), the only five-time champion in UFC history, is confident that Hatton (45-2, 32KOs) would benefit from his immense punching power and thrive in the octagon if he learned how to fight on the ground under his tutelage.

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?He is a tremendous fighter and he has a lot of heart,? said Couture, 46, one of only two UFC fighters to have held a championship in two different divisions. ?There is no doubt he could make a tremendous impact with his heart and determination in the ring.?

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Hatton, 31, a two-time IBF and IBO light welterweight champion, admitted he is intrigued by the prospect of fighting in MMA and he said his background in kickboxing would make the transition from the ring into the cage easier than some skeptics may predict.

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?UFC would be right up my street,? said Hatton, who suffered a brutal second-round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao last May. ?I used to kickbox, so maybe I would be all right.?

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Hatton, who is scheduled to host Monday Night Raw next week, added that UFC has seemed to recently garner more public interest than boxing has.

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?It is all action, proper fighting,? Hatton said of MMA. ?There is a concern in boxing that the UFC is taking its place. People seem to get more value for money.?

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Hatton was a stellar pugilist who still energizes his fellow countrymen every time that he is slated to fight.

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However, he was badly outclassed by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in December 2007 and, as mentioned previously, he was pulverized by Pacquiao last spring.

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Randy Couture is a superior grappler and ?The Natural? would be the ideal man to train Hatton if he ever decided to make his foray into the octagon.

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Still, at the delicate age of 31 and after the way he was violently beaten by the diminutive Pacquiao, it would be wise for Hatton to return to his native land and retire from any form of hand-to-hand combat.

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Hatton?s fans are known to taunt his opponents throughout his matches with the derisive and sustained chant, ?Who are ya??

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If Hatton does attempt mixed martial arts at this stage in his career, he could get badly injured.

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After one savage loss in the octagon, ?The Hitman? may have to permanently ask members of his friends and family, ?who are ya??

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