F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo on MMA “It’s the purest level of competition”

International Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo has often spoken about his love of MMA and just last week posted an Instagram clip of a video chat he had with UFC president Dana White ahead of UFC 245.

Appearing on the official F1 podcast earlier in the month, the Perth born racer went into detail about what it is about the sport that makes him a fan.

“It’s not these barbaric humans getting in a cage. It’s Mixed Martial Arts so there is an art behind it all. I’m just fascinated behind it all,” Ricciardo told Beyond The Grid podcast.

“Going back to competition, it’s the purest level of competition in the world. It doesn’t get much more purer than that. You are literally in a cage or a ring,” he added.

The 30-year-old has dabbled with boxing training in the past detailed how he had always loved in combat sports.

“I’ve always loved combat sports. I loved boxing growing up and I did a little bit of boxing for training and one of my best mates was fighting so I always loved that.

“Mixed Martial Arts really hit me 2011 and I was just fascinated by it and drawn to it. I love it. I’m like a full nerd. Like full, full nerd with it. I’m listening to interviews, press-conferences, podcasts, every day.

“As soon as you’ll leave, I’ll finish my food and [listen to a] podcast.”

The interviewer then asked Ricciardo if he would ever fight and while he would love to experience the buzz of competing in that type of environment, he doesn’t have it in his DNA before explaining how the fighters he has met have been really nice.

“I’ve met a few fighters and they are very nice guys. You wouldn’t think that is their professional so I’m not sure if you need a level of ‘that’ in you or what. You are born with it or not.

Despite racing a car at speeds of over 300 km/h, Ricciardo admits he would love to feel the rush of entering an arena for combat.

“I would love to fight to feel that rush. Yes, we get a rush racing cars but I think walking into a ring for example. Knowing that you are literally going up against someone else and that’s it. There is no one that can help you. There are no excuses.

“Unfortunately my sport is not like that.”

A driver for the Renault F1 team, Ricciardo has taken time away from his busy schedule to attend UFC events and lists UFC 189 in Las Vegas as the greatest sporting event he has ever been to. In the main event, Conor McGregor stopped Chad Mendes to capture at the time, the vacant interim Featherweight title.

Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car.