PFL lightweight Biaggio Ali-Walsh drew inspiration from an unlikely source as he began his highly-anticipated MMA career.
Ali-Walsh is off to a great start in his amateur MMA career with back-to-back wins in the PFL. His two PFL fights have lasted a combined 2:27 with consecutive knockouts by the 24-year-old.
Ali-Walsh will return to face Travell Miller in his next amateur fight at PFL 5 on June 16th. He has won three straight fights since losing his amateur debut last June.
It’s been a quick rise for Biaggio, the grandson of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Despite his inexperience, he’ll feature on the main card of PFL 5 despite being one of the few amateur bouts of the event.
After the passing of his grandfather, former Super Bowl-winning running back Marshawn Lynch was among the first to reach out with condolences. The two have built a special friendship ever since, with Lynch making various backstage appearances at Ali-Walsh’s PFL fights.
Lynch, like Ali-Walsh, dealt with a fair share of hate and praise during his career. He’s been instrumental in Ali-Walsh learning to deal with the added spotlight because of his combat lineage.
Biaggio Ali-Walsh Credits NFL’s Marshawn Lynch For MMA Successes
During an exclusive interview with MMANews, Ali-Walsh opened up on his relationship with Lynch and looking at him as a mentor.
“Me and Marshawn go way back,” Ali-Walsh said. “I first got in contact with him through Facetime. My grandpa’s wife knew I was a fan of his, and being a running back growing up playing football. He was always someone I watched.
“He’s always been a mentor to me when it came to football, and part of the reason I went to Cal-Berkeley is because he went there and it’s a great school…I respect him a lot because he didn’t have to reach out after my grandfather passed, he’s Marshawn Lynch. He’s got a name, things he’s gotta do…so for him to take the time to reach out to me after he passed was really cool and respectful of him. I just became an even bigger fan after that day.”
Ali-Walsh then explained the biggest lesson he’s learned from the former NFL superstar.
“I think the biggest takeaway from him is he’s always 100% himself,” Ali-Walsh said. “He’s not putting on an act or anything, that’s just who he is, and I take that away because some people are too afraid to be themselves and that’s something that I wanna do in my career…if you like me, you like me, and if you don’t you don’t.
“That’s the thing I’d take away from him that’s very inspiring.”
Lynch retired following the 2019 NFL season with 10,413 career rushing yards. He won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks at Super Bowl 49 and will likely be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
As Ali-Walsh moves forward in his fighting career, Lynch will likely be right by his side to help him deal with the ins and outs of being a professional athlete.
- Read Also: “Be Joe Pyfer!” – UFC Fighter’s Remarkable Story Of Perseverance Featured In Upcoming Documentary (Exclusive)
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.