CFL star Chad Owens made his mixed martial arts debut a winning one.
The Toronto Argonauts receiver/kick returner earned a unanimous decision against Junyah Tefaga in Honolulu on Saturday night. The two fought as amateurs and battled through two three-minute rounds in their MMA debuts.
The five-foot-eight, 180-pound Owens, the CFL’s outstanding player last season, fought in the 170-pound class and went by the nickname of Mighty Mouse.
Last month, Argos general manager Jim Barker didn’t mince words about not being thrilled that one of the club’s top players was participating in such a potentially dangerous off-season activity.
There was no indication that Owens was injured in the bout and afterwards the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Owens as saying he’ll be in training camp on time with the Argos in June.
Owens, 31, was an integral part of Toronto’s 2012 Grey Cup-winning squad. He posted a league-record 3,863 all-purpose yards and also was the CFL’s top receiver with 94 catches for 1,328 yards and six TDs.
Owens isn’t the first CFL player to step into the Octagon.
Adam Braidwood, a former defensive linemen with the Edmonton Eskimos, won his debut bout in 2007 while Mike (Wolverine) Maurer, a former Eskimos fullback, has also fought.
Former NFL lineman Matt Mitrione and Brendan Schaub, a former Arena Football player who was on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, fight as heavyweights in the UFC.
Former NFLers Marcus Jones and Wes Shivers also appeared on “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC’s reality TV show. while former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker has also fought in Strikeforce.