UFC: 5 Fighters That Will Have Successful Post-Fight Careers
For many MMA fighters, fighting is all they know. There is no life after hanging up the gloves for some guys.
The guys on this list don't fall into that group of fighters.
That's because whether it's stepping into an announcer's booth, sitting down behind a news desk or running classes in a gym, the fighters on this list will have successful post-fight careers. If anyone has been around enough fighters, you'll know that some are made to be coaches or have the gift of gab and some simply don't.
These guys have those qualities and then some. For them, fighting is fun, but they don't have to ever worry about getting to the point of fighting for a paycheck because they know (or should know) that there will be a steady stream of money following their active careers.
Frank Mir's MMA career is hanging by a thread after four straight losses. Although he hasn't officially been released from the promotion, the odds are Mir's days as an active fighter are numbered.
Luckily for the UFC heavyweight great, he won't have to worry about what to do without preparing for an upcoming bout.
If anyone has heard Mir talk during interviews or in his few appearances working for the WEC, you can tell the man is a wealth of knowledge. It hasn't always translated to success in the cage, but he's without a doubt one of the smarter fighters in the game today.
Owning his own gym for years, Mir's growth was limited. Now, the former champion is in a gym full of top-tier talent at Jackson's MMA. Training under the tutelage of one of the greatest coaches in MMA history, Greg Jackson, and a host of talented fighters should only contribute to that knowledge.
With Mir's ability to talk (he's never at a loss for words), combined with his knowledge of the sport, he will have a future coaching or in a broadcast booth for sure.
Rich Franklin is another guy who has been in the sport for years. If you'll recall, Franklin headlined the first Ultimate Fighter finale against Ken Shamrock.
Franklin has been in a semiretirement phase since dropping a fight to Cung Le back in November 2012. But while Franklin hasn't stepped foot in the Octagon since 2012, the former middleweight champion has been staying busy.
Franklin is pretty well-spoken, has a knowledge of the sport and has obviously already made plans for his post-fight career. Sounds like the guy has his head on straight.
Urijah Faber is credited with not only helping build up the featherweight division to where it is today but also building Team Alpha Male as a powerhouse gym in the MMA world.
Despite being home to mainly fighters in the lighter weight classes, Team Alpha Male is among one of the best overall gyms in MMA today. And that's due in part to Faber helping to build up a slew of quality fighters to call Team Alpha Male Home.
Faber's also one of a small handful of fighters who can still speak with fluidity that so few of his peers enjoy. The California Kid has been competing professionally since 2003 but hasn't suffered from being "punch-drunk" or shown any notable decline in physical attributes.
While Faber is still among the best in the bantamweight division, he will undoubtedly slide into a coaching role or a comfy seat behind a UFC on Fox broadcast booth. With his knowledge of the lighter weight classes, the UFC could use him as a scout for future talent in those divisions.
The most obvious guy for a list like this is probably the guy who is already involved in coaching, Daniel Cormier.
Besides competing as one of the best light heavyweights in the world, Cormier also acts as the wrestling coach for American Kickboxing Academy. With Olympic credentials combined with his success in MMA, there's little doubt as to the knowledge possessed by Cormier.
Cormier is also regularly featured on UFC on Fox broadcasts as an analyst. He can speak well enough to not look like a fool on national television, but I suspect he will transition into a full-time coaching gig once he hangs up the gloves.
Chael Sonnen is one of the most polarizing figures in MMA history. People either love him or love to hate him.
But what nearly everyone can agree on is that Sonnen is one heck of a coach. Just take some time to watch him on The Ultimate Fighter and The Ultimate Fighter Brazil: Season 3. Especially during his time on TUF: Brazil, you could see that although Sonnen faced a huge language barrier, once he was able to get past that, his team succeeded.
Now, if Sonnen were to get into coaching, perhaps they shouldn't take his advice on what supplements they should be taking.
If Sonnen chooses not to go into coaching, he's already got a gig set up with the UFC broadcasting team. Sonnen is routinely featured as a fight analyst and does a pretty good job at breaking down the sport.
It's clear that Sonnen has no issues with a microphone in front of him, and that will likely serve him well in his post-fight career.
The epitome of what it means to be a martial artist, Lyoto Machida is well versed in combat sports. A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a third-degree black belt in karate as well as experience in sumo, any fighter would be wise to learn from Machida. His style might not be able to be recreated by anyone not from the Machida family tree, but Machida's experience in multiple arts could provide a wealth of knowledge to perspective students.
You'll notice that Rashad Evans is regularly in the corner of fighters who are from the Blackzilians camp. Evans has done it all in the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter (as a heavyweight), becoming UFC champion and helping to build the Blackzilians from the ground up. And as everyone knows, Suga doesn't have an issue with speaking his mind. Whether it's coaching or in a broadcast role, Evans has a lengthy career in MMA ahead of him.
The Canadian superstar has stepped away from the cage for a leave of absence, but Firas Zahabi has assured fans that GSP will be back. With his knowledge from training under Zahabi and Greg Jackson, along with his strategic mindset, one would assume Georges St-Pierre wouldn't struggle in a coaching role. However, great fighters do not always make great coaches, and if GSP and the UFC can mend the fences, I would expect St-Pierre to enjoy an executive role with promoting the UFC/MMA in Canada.
The Warmaster has already made a move into coaching fighters, including current UFC women's bantamweight competitor Shayna Baszler. Learning from one of the greatest coaches in Erik Paulson, Josh Barnett has a great mentor to call on if he needs future help in coaching. He's also been around the sport for years which would provide a great deal of knowledge to pass on to the future of the sport. That is, if they enjoy heavy metal and conquering the world.
The brash fighter is one of the best trash talkers in the game today. After initially beginning his career as somewhat of a fan favorite, Michael Bisping has long been on everyone's list of "most disliked fighters" for much of his career. Still, Bisping has enjoyed a great deal of success despite not winning UFC gold (at the moment). The Englishman has made appearances on UFC on Fox broadcasts regularly and would likely become a major focal point of helping the UFC's expansion into the European market.
The Nogueira Brothers
The talented pair of Brazilian brothers already own a gym and many of Brazil's top fighters have trained under the Nogueiras. The two men are legends in MMA and are universally loved by fans everywhere. That name value combined with their experience make me believe they'll have a great career at coaching once they decide to retire. They've shown that they can help produce world class talent even with their own full schedules, imagine what they can do when all their focus is on their students.