Most MMA fighters come from traditional backgrounds like college wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, Judo or professional boxing. They start when they are young and train for years—competing on the amateur level and then fighting for a few years in the smaller organizations before getting a shot with the UFC.
Even in the early days of MMA, fighters would be experts at one discipline and then slowly learn all the other aspects of fighting as their career and the sport progressed.
There are always exceptions to the rules, however. The following athletes are a select few who made unlikely transformations into MMA fighters with little or no martial arts backgrounds.