I’m Muhammad Ali’s grandson and I gave up on NFL dream to pursue MMA with the PFL… but here’s why I’m NOT a boxer


BIAGGO ALI WALSH is the latest fighter from his legendary bloodline – having given up on his dream of playing in the NFL to pursue MMA.

The 2-1 amateur prospect is the brother to rising 8-0 boxing star Nico and most notably a grandson of Muhammad Ali.

But a fighting career was never initially Biaggo’s goal as he instead planned to go all the way on the American football field.

Biaggio got a scholarship to play in California but the staff he already committed to got fired before he even joined.

And after moving back to Las Vegas in hope of getting another scholarship, he found game time hard to come by.

By this time, Biaggio had started training in MMA and his NFL hopes had been KOd by the 2019 season.

At 21, he decided to focus on MMA and after the coronavirus lockdown gave him nothing else to do but train, a new passion had been discovered.

Biaggio, 24, told SunSport: “When everything shut down, that’s when I started training in my garage.

“My brother was actually helping me out a lot too, he’d hold pads for me and show me certain things he knows with boxing.

“But then when the gyms opened back up that’s when I started training again and that’s pretty much the journey.”

His grandfather is remembered as not only The Greatest in the boxing ring but also a sporting icon worldwide.

Ali’s daughter Laila, who is Biaggio’s aunt, was a two-weight unbeaten world champion while Biaggio’s brother Nico, 22, is currently making strides in the middleweight division.

But despite being surrounded by boxing since birth, it was MMA that intrigued Biaggio the most.

He revealed: “It grabbed my attention since high school.

“I enjoyed MMA, I enjoyed that there are multiple martial arts that can play a part in a fight.

“It’s just something that I enjoyed. Even when I was playing football, I was in the garage practising kicks and stuff. It was just something that I enjoyed to watch.


“Boxing too, I grew up watching boxing, I’ve been around boxing my whole life but there was something about MMA that I just really liked because there was multiple martial arts.

“There are multiple ways to win or lose, there’s an endless amount of possibilities in MMA and that really intrigues me.”

Ali sadly died in 2016 at 74 after battling idiopathic Parkinson disease but left an ever-lasting mark on the sport.

The heavyweight great was a huge admirer of martial arts pioneer Bruce Lee and Biaggio believes his grandfather would have loved modern-day MMA.

He said: “I definitely think he would have been a fan, for sure. Especially around 2015 or 2016 when McGregor was at his peak.

“Conor brought so many people’s eyes to the sport and he was so entertaining to watch, to see him talk and he was all about bringing the views and that was what my grandfather was about.

“I feel like if he would have tuned in around that time, he would really have become a huge fan.”

Biaggio has been signed by the Professional Fighters League, where stars compete in qualifying and knockout stages for a $1million prize and belt, but he will only appear in the prime-time undercard slot as he is not a pro.

Despite the prospect still learning his craft in the amateur lightweight ranks, his surname bears a super-heavy weight.

Biaggio said: “I’ve had that target on my back since high school, I’m definitely prepared for it.

“When people found out, regardless of the sport we’re in, we’re always going to have a target on our back.


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