Summer Olympics 2012: Martial Artists Who Should Be in MMA After London

Scott CarasikContributor IIJuly 21, 2012

Jun 22, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; General overview of the octagon while Cub Swanson fights Ross Pearson in a featherweight bout during UFC on FX at Revel Resort and Casino. Cub Swanson won the fight by technical knockout in the second round.  Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Mixed martial arts have become a hot topic in the country since the UFC has gotten big. Ronda Rousey is one who has made the transition from medal-winning Olympian to MMA title-holder.

There are at least four Olympians who should find more success as an MMA competitor than as an Olympian. They come from many different disciplines and, using the MMA definition of martial arts, we are able to include wrestlers and boxers into the mix.


Jordan Burroughs

Specialty: Wresting

Wrestling Weight Class: 74 kilograms (~163 lbs.)

MMA Weight Class: Men's Welterweight (170 lbs.)

As a wrestler, he is used to cutting weight. In MMA, he wouldn't have to cut as much weight and could be healthier when his matches came along. The extra seven pounds that he would be allowed to carry on his frame would make him much stronger.

He's a world champion freestyle wrestler, so he could also transition very easily into the world of mixed martial arts. However, the UFC would have to snap him up before Paul Levesque (Triple H) snaps him up as part of WWE's talent initiative.


Oleksandr Usyk

Specialty: Boxing

Boxing Weight Class: Men's Heavyweight (~201 lbs.)

MMA Weight Class: Men's Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.)

In researching for the man to take down Light Heavyweight champion Jon "Bone" Jones, Usyk's name popped up quite a bit. He's got a lean, strong frame at 6'3", 200 lbs. He could gain another five pounds and increase his already great strength.

He can be a top-notch striker, but would have to learn how to wrestle and submit people. The Ukrainian is one of the top amateur boxers in the world. Should he lose at the Olympics, he should go into the UFC and not professional boxing.


Kayla Harrison

Specialty: Judo

Judo Weight Class: 78 kilograms (~172 lbs.)

MMA Weight Class: Women's Cruiserweight (165 lbs.)

Kayla Harrison is arguably the best female Judoka in the world. She is a bit heavier than the current women's divisions of 135 and 145, so she would have to be a pioneer in the larger women's divisions.

If Dana White ever gets serious about women's MMA, he would be smart to head a recruiting effort.

Harrison also has one of the best stories out of the games. She has overcome adversity and inner demons stemming from a previous Judo coach sexually abusing her to become a world champion. She could very well win the gold in Judo at the London Games.


Paige McPherson

Specialty: Taekwondo

Taekwondo Weight Class: 67 kilograms (~148 lbs.)

MMA Weight Class: Women's Bantamweight (135 lbs.)

She's very similar to Ronda Rousey in how she is unheralded going into the games. "McFierce," as her teammates call her, is one of the best tae kwon do athletes in the world. Her quickness with both her hands and her feet as a tae kwon do striker would be scary for other MMA fighters.

Unlike Rousey, she will make her MMA living on her striking and not her wrestling and submission skills. If McPherson could learn some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to go along with her great striking, she would challenge Rousey for the 135-pound belt.


Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.