The UFC is a well-liked place for NFL athletes to change to. Discover out one of the best ones which have entered the Octagon from the NFL.

The NFL and the UFC are two very totally different beasts. They each contain high-impact, high-risk motion and many overlapping expertise areas. You probably have ever watched a professional soccer match, you’ll know {that a} linebacker may simply give a UFC professional wrestler a run for his or her cash in takedowns.

So, it comes up as no shock that some NFL athletes determined to maneuver to UFC as soon as there NFL careers we’re getting colder. Right here’s a listing of a few of the most notable names which have come from NFL into the UFC:

5 former NFL gamers who entered the Octagon

Brendan Schaub

Earlier than Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub turned a controversial podcast host and made appearances on the Joe Rogan expertise, he was truly a pro-tier NFL participant. Schaub had a considerably profitable stint In faculty soccer and signed up as a free agent however didn’t handle to get any video games. Later, he signed on by the NFL’s Buffalo Payments earlier than being let go with out enjoying any video games. Schaub was then taken up by the AFL’s Utah Blaze earlier than he determined to show to MMA in 2008.

As a professional MMA fighter, Schaub embarked on a semi-successful profession as a fighter and he made a pretty aggressive run within the UFC is heavyweight division. To his credit score, he did have some moments of glory within the UFC, most notably when he knocked out MMA legend Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic with a straight proper at UFC 128.

Matt Mitrione

Matt Mitrione has had a somewhat-successful run as a professional fighter. However earlier than he transitioned into MMA, he was a college-level soccer on the Purdue College. In reality, he went there on a scholarship and served as a beginning defensive sort out in 35 consecutive video games.

After faculty, Mitrione was signed up with the New York Giants and he performed with them till 2004. He was let go after that 12 months because of harm associated issues. Other than that, he additionally had a stent with the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings. Nonetheless, Mitrione did not make an impression with both franchise and switched to MMA by way of the UFC’s TUF 10 competitors.

Following that, Mitrione had a number of fights within the UFC, most notably in opposition to Joey Beltran, Okimbo Slice, Cheick Kongo, Roy Nelson and fellow faculty soccer retailer Brendan Schaub. Different fights to his credit score embody Derrick Lewis, Gabriel Gonzaga, Travis Browne and many others.

His battle with Travis brown was the final of the UFC contract following which Mitrione and signed up with Bellator MMA. He then took half within the 2018 Bellator heavyweight Grand Prix the place he misplaced to Ryan Bader within the semi-finals. After that, he had a number of fights in Bellator however was in the end launched from the contract in mid 2021. At the moment, he is signed up with Triller Triad Fight.

Eryokay Anders

Present UFC middleweight Eryokay Anders performed as a linebacker for the College of Alabama’s Crimson Tide. He famously helped his workforce to victory within the 2009 BCS nationwide championship. Following his faculty profession, he signed up with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns but did play in any video games. He then signed up with the Canadian soccer leagues Calgary Stampeders however quickly transferd to MMA seeing his soccer profession was not taking off.


Anders had a profitable run of 8-0 as an beginner MMA fighter which landed him a contract with the UFC. Whereas he’s nonetheless the transfer into middleweight title competition, he has amassed a formidable 6-6-1 battle file and is scheduled to face Kyle Daukaus at UFC Combat Evening 216 in December this 12 months.

Greg Hardy

Simply probably the most profitable NFL participant to maneuver into the UFC, Greg Hardy is a little bit of an odd story for a fighter. Hardy had his NFL prospects come to a grinding halt because of home violence allegations. Though Hardy’s girlfriend did not make an look in courtroom and the fees have been dropped, his NFL profession by no means recovered. He solely performed one recreation together with his unique workforce, the Carolina Panthers and spent his ultimate NFL season with the Dallas Cowboys.

Hardy has turned professional MMA fighter since then, proceeded to knock folks out within the UFC since then. Contemplating he served as an all-professional defensive footballer, it’s reasonably odd now he would resort to hanging. It might be pure for an NFL defensive participant to only steamroll opponents however Hardy seemingly favors a unique method.

Within the UFC, he has most notably gone up in opposition to Alexander Volkov and Tai Tuivasa. Hardy has lately signed a multi battle contract with Bare Oknuckle Fighting Championship throughout mid-2022.

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is arguably probably the most well-known former professional NFL participant to enter the lively Octagon. While he’s most well-known for his time with the WWE, Lesnar truly pursued a profession with the NFL in early 2004.

Regardless of having suffered an harm in a bike accident, Lesnar signed up with the Minnesota Vikings by mid 2004 and performed a number of preseason video games with them. Nonetheless, he was launched from the Vikings by later that 12 months and in the end determined to discontinue his NFL profession prospects.

Lesnar signed up with the UFC in early 2008 and went on to have a number of high-profile bouts with champions like Frank Mir, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Antonio Nogueira and Cain Velasquez.

He misplaced his final MMA battle in opposition to Alastair Overeem and declared that he won’t be returning to the Octagon. However, Lesnar returned to the UFC In mid-2016 in opposition to Mark Hunt the place he gained the battle.

Nonetheless, he failed an out-of-competition drug take a look at, acquired suspended by USADA and his win in opposition to Hunt was overturned. Lesnar was charged with a $250,000 positive however remains to be to pay it. After this suspension, there was speak of an excellent battle between Lesnar and UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Nonetheless, the battle in the end didn’t occur.

Lesnar’s MMA profession lasted just a few years. However, he has had a big impression on the MMA world and continues to be a high-profile draw in fight sports activities at massive.

Acquired a fighter we missed who has a notable NFL stint? Inform us about him or your opinion within the feedback beneath.

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