The UFC is a well-liked place for NFL athletes to change to. Discover out the very 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. In case you have ever watched a professional soccer match, you’ll know {that a} linebacker might 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 an inventory of among 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 really a pro-tier NFL participant. Schaub had a considerably profitable stint In school 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 taking part in 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 truth, he went there on a scholarship and served as a beginning defensive deal with in 35 consecutive video games.

After school, Mitrione was signed up with the New York Giants and he performed with them till 2004. He was let go after that yr because of damage associated issues. Apart from that, he additionally had a stent with the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings. Nevertheless, Mitrione didn’t make an affect 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 towards Joey Beltran, Okayimbo Slice, Cheick Kongo, Roy Nelson and fellow school soccer retailer Brendan Schaub. Different fights to his credit score embody Derrick Lewis, Gabriel Gonzaga, Travis Browne and many others.

His combat 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 staff to victory within the 2009 BCS nationwide championship. Following his school 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 novice 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 combat document and is scheduled to face Kyle Daukaus at UFC Battle Night time 216 in December this yr.

Greg Hardy

Simply essentially 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. Despite the fact that Hardy’s girlfriend didn’t make an look in courtroom and the costs had been dropped, his NFL profession by no means recovered. He solely performed one recreation together with his authentic staff, the Carolina Panthers and spent his closing NFL season with the Dallas Cowboys.

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

Within the UFC, he has most notably gone up towards Alexander Volkov and Tai Tuivasa. Hardy has lately signed a multi combat contract with Bare Okaynuckle Fighting Championship throughout mid-2022.

Brock Lesnar

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

Regardless of having suffered an damage in a bike accident, Lesnar signed up with the Minnesota Vikings by mid 2004 and performed a number of preseason video games with them. Nevertheless, he was launched from the Vikings by later that yr 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 combat towards Alastair Overeem and declared that he is not going to be returning to the Octagon. Nonetheless, Lesnar returned to the UFC In mid-2016 towards Mark Hunt the place he received the combat.

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

Lesnar’s MMA profession lasted only some years. Nonetheless, he has had a big affect on the MMA world and continues to be a high-profile draw in fight sports activities at massive.

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

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