MMA Fighters Who Could Succeed in Other Sports

Jeffrey McKinneyContributor IIIApril 5, 2012

MMA Fighters Who Could Succeed in Other Sports

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    Learning one sport may come naturally for some people, but it still takes a ton of skill, determination and hard work to really succeed at it. 

    MMA may be one of the most difficult sports to succeed at because of the different types of martial arts that a person must be aware of. 

    But while MMA is the sport of choice for many athletes, there are some special fighters who could possibly succeed at other sports. 

    Here are a look at 25 fighters who could stand a chance at being successful at other sports. 

Lyoto Machida: Dodge Ball

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    Lyoto "the Dragon" Machida is known for two things inside the Octagon. 

    One is his karate fighting style. The other is being one of, if not, the most elusive fighter in UFC history. 

    Machida has made it part of his game plan to stay out of trouble. 

    Who wouldn't take him first in a dodgeball game?

Stefan Struve: Basketball

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    Of course this is a play on his height, but it's hard not to say Stefan Struve wouldn't be good at basketball. 

    Standing at 6'11", Struve is one of the tallest fighters in MMA history. 

    If he had good footwork and timing, he could at least be a good defensive presence on the hardwood. 

Donald Cerrone: Bull Riding

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    With the look of a cowboy and the heart of a champion, it's hard to say that Donald Cerrone wouldn't be a success at bull riding. 

    Cerrone loves anything thrilling and has expressed interest in participating in PBR events. 

    Although Dana White shut that idea down, imagine if Cerrone gets his wish one day.

Josh Barnett: Pro Wrestling

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    Whether you consider pro wrestling a real sport or not, you have to believe Josh Barnett could be successful at it again. 

    Barnett has already gone the pro wrestling route before, and after his Dusty Rhodes-like promo following his win over Brett Rodgers, you have to believe he still has some pro wrestling matches in him. 

    If Brock Lesnar can go back to the WWE, Barnett could at least do a few Japanese shows and still be successful. 

Jose Aldo: Soccer

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    UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo may go down as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. 

    No body has really been able to touch him since he's been fighting under the Zuffa banner, and for good reason. 

    Aldo has some of the deadliest leg kicks in MMA history. 

    He grew up an avid soccer fan, and even dreamed about playing the sport as a kid,

Pat Barry: Kick Boxing

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    While some of these have been for fun, Pat Barry is a legit kickboxer. 

    Before he started his MMA career, Barry was a K-1 fighter who had a 18-6-1 record. 

    Although he's learning to become a more complete MMA fighter, Barry still puts his lethal legs to good use. 

Alistair Overeem: Pro Bodybuilding

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    Kickboxing would have been the easy out for Alistair Overeem. 

    He is a former K-1 champion. 

    But considering his recent failed drug test and how he's bulked up over the years, if Overeem ever gets tired of fighting, maybe he should consider a career in pro bodybuilding. 

    Overeem has the look for it and could bring some personality to the sport. 

Nick Diaz: Triathlon

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    With Nick Diaz seemingly gone from MMA, he will have time to do other things.

    While you may think smoking pot is one of them, Diaz is actually known for participating in triathlons. 

    Diaz used them as part of his training for fights and even for fun. 

    They proved just how much he had in the gas tank and showed how diverse he truly is. 

Chael Sonnen: Pro Wrestler

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    He's got the mouth, the look and the attitude that it takes to make it in pro wrestling. 

    Although Chael Sonnen has only done amateur wrestling and MMA, it could be fun to see him try out pro wrestling.

    Sonnen would be great on the mic and could use his wrestling skills inside the ring.

Ronda Rousey: Judo

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    We all know that Ronda Rousey has a great armbar. Each of her wins have come by submission, thanks to the move. 

    But what some people may not know is just how good in judo she is. 

    Rousey took home the bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Olympic Games. 

Junior Dos Santos: Boxing

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    UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is one of the best MMA boxers in the game today. 

    Although he may have a good ground game, dos Santos mostly uses his hands inside the Octagon. 

    It's no secret that he loves to box. His entrance song is usually the theme from Rocky. 

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Boxing

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    Another fighter who has a chance at boxing is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. 

    Little Nog had a good amateur boxing career and even took home the bronze medal in the Pan American Games in 2007. 

Clay Guida: NASCAR Driver

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    Clay Guida always has a ton of energy. 

    From the moment he comes out and until he goes to the back after the fight is over, Guida is bouncing off the wall. 

    Whether or not he has a single race car bone in his body is one thing. 

    But he does live in his RV and has participated in Safe Auto Insurance commercials. Maybe race car driving is on Guida's mind. 

Georges St-Pierre: Swimming

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    Being from Canada, hockey would have been the easy choice for Georges St-Pierre. 

    But for some reason St-Pierre sticks out to me as someone who would be great at swimming. 

    Maybe it's the swimmer's build or the stamina he has inside the Octagon, but St-Pierre has the focus to really be good at just about anything. 

Mark Hunt: Kickboxing

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    Mark Hunt is one of the toughest fighters in MMA today. 

    Although rugby dominates his home of New Zealand, Hunt chose to pursue kickboxing.

    Hunt was the 2001 K-1 Grand Prix champion and proved that he could make the transition from K-1 to MMA following his kickboxing stint.  

BJ Penn: Surfing

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    BJ Penn may have been known for his boxing and jiu-jitsu inside the Octagon. 

    But outside of it, the Hawaiian loved to surf. 

    Penn loved the sport and grew up in the perfect place to catch some waves.  

Frankie Edgar: Boxing

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    Another guy with great MMA boxing is Frankie Edgar. 

    Edgar is always moving and has crisp combinations and hand speed. In fact, Edgar is just flat-out one of the quickest guys in MMA today. 

    He would be interesting to see just how quick he could be in the boxing ring. 

Brian Stann: American Football

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    We all know Brian Stann's military background. 

    But what some people may not know is that he was a middle linebacker during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy. 

    Stann is very athletic and has the power to be successful at football if he ever needed something to fall back on. 

Roy Nelson: Competitive Eating

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    Nelson may be shedding the pounds, but he's still looked at as the UFC's chubby champion. 

    It would be fun to see Nelson participate in Nathan's famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. 

    Although he's currently winning the battle of the bulge, it would be fun just to see him go off of his diet for that. 

Matt Mitrione: Football

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    While most guys dreaming of playing in the NFL, Matt Mitrione actually made it. 

    After playing college football at Purdue, Mitrione played in the NFL for the New York Giants and the the Minnesota Vikings. 

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson: Boxing

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    While Quinton Jackson used to have a more well-rounded MMA game, he now only uses his boxing skills. 

    Jackson had the power to knock guys out and could have been just as good in boxing. 

    Although he is now slower than he once was, it would have been interesting to see how he would have did in boxing a couple of years ago.