Once upon a time, nobody knew two-sport dominance like Bo Jackson, who was a star in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball during a storied athletic career.
Chad Owens will probably never achieve the legendary status of Jackson, but the Toronto Argonauts standout is attempting a pretty noteworthy dual feat in his own right. Owens, who set a Canadian Football League record with 3,863 total yards last season, will make his MMA debut on April 6 at Destiny’s “Na Koa III” at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. According to the promotion’s website, Owens will square off with fellow MMA newcomer Junyah Tevaga.
Owens was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012 as Toronto captured the Grey Cup; it was his third straight season of 3,000 or more total yards. Despite his outstanding resume, the former University of Hawaii football standout felt the need to test himself in another arena.
"I wanted to get into something new. A new challenge. Something to keep me hungry,” Owens told Hawaii News Now. “I always wanted to get into it sometime and this offseason I thought would be the perfect time."
Toronto is scheduled to play its first preseason game against Winnipeg on June 12. The Toronto Star reports that the 5-foot-8, 180-pound Owens is not violating the terms of his contract with the Argonauts by competing in an MMA bout.
According to Hawaii News Now, Owens has been working extensively with “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 competitor Scott Junk. Owens’ work ethic has impressed the 13-fight veteran.
“He shows up gives 110-percent and at the end of the day, when it's all over, there's a puddle on the floor where Chad was training. Chad puts in work." Junk said. "If you had to market him and compare him to somebody, he's like Rashad Evans. He's really explosive and really smooth and he's relaxed but he's powerful."
No matter how impressive Owens might be in training, you can bet the Argonauts coaching staff will be in holding their breath come April 6.