Former UFC Fighter James Vick Makes His Transition to Karate | Karate.com Blogs
Former UFC Fighter James Vick Makes His Transition to Karate

Former UFC Fighter James Vick Makes His Transition to Karate

Learn how the UFC Veteran went from Boxing to Karate in his Martial Arts Journey
by Mac Tyson, 2022-10-06

On October 29th, 14-fight UFC veteran James Vick will make his Karate Combat Debut. First to welcome him to the Pit will be 2x Pan-American Gold Medalist and 4-Fight KC veteran Jorge Perez. Before they "enter the Pit," learn about Vick's martial arts journey that led him to this point.

James Vick: The Boxer

Unlike most fighters on the Karate Combat roster, Vick did not originally train in Karate. Although his martial arts interest was sparked by The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) television series, he first trained in the “Sweet Science” of boxing, before transitioning to Mixed Martial Arts.

He earned accolades as an amateur boxer, becoming a 2x Golden Gloves Champion, but the original inspiration for starting his martial arts journey would remain in the back of his head. So, during his boxing career, he began training in various MMA disciplines before making a full transition.

James Vick: The Mixed Martial Artist

As an MMA fighter, Vick went on a 4-fight winning streak before competing on the show that inspired his passion for combat sports in the first place: TUF. He made the semifinals before being eliminated from the tournament, but still impressed the organization enough that he was signed.

He started training American Karate under Adrian Galvan during his UFC career. Galvan recently lost an action-packed fight due to an eye injury in Karate Combat Season 4. Vick was in his corner. More notably, Galvan has successfully cornered other KC fighters, including current KC Welterweight Champion Joshua Quayhagen.

James Vick cornered Adrian Galvan at KCS4E4
James Vick cornered Adrian Galvan at KCS4E4

James Vick looks after his teammate Adrian Galvan after a mid-fight injury

During his UFC career Vick would fight notable fighters such as Joe Duffy (who has a win over Conor McGregor), former Jungle Fight Champion Francisco Trinaldo, and Former UFC Title Challenger and WSOF Champion Justin Gaethje. He would also earn his black belt in Karate during this time. Unfortunately, the end of his career wouldn’t go so well. After a string of losses, he would announce his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts.

James Vick: The Karateka

Post-Retirement Vick would coach Boxing classes and continue his training in Karate under Sensei Galvan. Eventually he would get the itch to compete again and so he did, going 2-1 in pro boxing, a record that includes a controversial decision loss to a hometown fighter. Even in Boxing, Vick would credit a lot of his success to his Karate training.

Dominick Cruz says James Vick should make his way to a Karate Combat title fight
Dominick Cruz says James Vick should make his way to a Karate Combat title fight

Karate Combat asked social media to weigh in on who they'd like to see fight for a title back in November, 2021... among respondents calling out James Vick to make a title run in the league were UFC veterans Felice Herrig and even former WEC and UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz!

Many Karateka over the years have transitioned to Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. Interestingly, Vick is moving in the other direction! But he has a tough competitor in front of him at #KC36 in Jorge Perez, who has won both of his wins by knock out. Nevertheless, Vick brings a massive amount of full-contact experience into the fight.

If you're at all curious to learn how Vick fairs in his all new environment inside The Pit, don't miss Karate Combat 36!

KC36 poster
KC36 poster

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