UPDATE (1-14-2011): Would these athletes still be the best ‘Other Sport’ athletes in MMA? What Do You Think (Comment Below)?
Original Post: 4-2-2007
Mixed martial arts is a sport that is growing by leaps and bounds across the world. With the global expansion of major promotions such as the UFC, one can expect to see many more individuals take up the gloves to try their hand at the craft.
Today’s MMA fighter is coming from a variety of sports backgrounds. Take Brendan Schaub and NFL All Pro Herschel Walker. Both were former professional athletes in a completely different sport and now they are fighting on two of the biggest stages in MMA. While not a direct correlation when it comes to sports fields, surely the rigors of football training has prepared their minds and bodies for what they go through in MMA.
This fact brought about the discussion of what other sports stars, past and present, would do well as MMA athletes? This list was formed from that conversation. These athletes are players who do not have a combat sport background; however have the “tools” that could serve them well in the ring or cage.
Dwight Howard – Center for the Orlando Magic
Game in and game out, Orlando Magic basketball fans are privileged to watch one of the premier big men in the National Basketball Association perform. The 25 year old Howard has been a force since coming into the league 6 years ago. As well as he does being a defensive force on the court, he could be just as much of a monster in the cage. Howard’s wingspan is reportedly more than seven feet long. Imagine being on the end of one of his jabs. He’s also a very powerful and explosive athlete and those abilities could be turned into dangerous weapons under the right teaching in MMA.
Bo Jackson – Running Back, Outfielder and Designated Hitter
We all know the phrase “Bo Knows.” He’s proven himself in two of America’s biggest sports; being the only man to have been selected to a All Star team in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball. At one time he was also a state track champion in the decathlon. No matter how you shake it, Jackson has always been great in sports. Would those skills translate to the MMA world? Possibly, but it would be hard to bet against a man with such a track record as his.
George Parros – Right Wing for the Anaheim Ducks
Standing 6’5” and well over 200 pounds, George Parros is the last guy that many hockey players would want to see coming in their direction. The enforcer for the Anaheim Ducks has put many of the opposing players in their place when they step out of line on the ice. Parros is consistently among the league leaders for penalty minutes, many of which are accrued by fighting. To top all things off, Parros would be a great MMA fighter simple because he has a mustache that would make Dan Severn smile in approval.
Honorable Mentions: Paul “The Big Show” Wight, Ryan Howard, Tom Brady, Ryan Johnson and James Harrison.
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