MMA fighters and fans of the sport are well aware of the dangers associated with going toe-to-toe with a professional fighter. As one of the most dangerous yet most watched combat sports on the planet today, MMA fighting has continued to grow in popularity since its inception and rise to prominence in the early 1990s. Often known for its brutality and extreme, no-holds-barred fighting, various MMA competitions have sprung up all over the globe and it is now a sport which has thousands of fighters and contracted professionals.
Many think that the hard, tough persona exhibited by MMA fighters means that they’re only good for one thing – fighting. There are however, some MMA fighters who can claim to have knockout careers inside and outside the cage- many world-famous MMA fighters have brains as well as brawn and are more than capable of taking care of themselves outside the cage. There are famous personalities within the sport who are graduates of some prestigious colleges and are well-educated to undergraduate and even postgraduate level – a far cry from the meathead stereotype lumped on the shoulders of many professional MMA and combat sport athletes.
The smarts that these fighters have will serve them well in their careers after fighting. Some have already retired and are using their brain to make a living. You can only get punched and kicked so many times before the body suffers from wear and tear. One organ that cannot be replaced is your brain and these fighters have some bright ones.
Here are 15 MMA fighters that are a lot smarter than you think.
15 Shane Carwin
14 Takeya Mizugaki
13 Jeff Monson
The gruff-looking heavily tattooed frame of Jeff Monson is a two-time winner of the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship and is definitely someone who you wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alley. This American-Russian mixed martial artist is a heavyweight in every sense of the word and a veteran competitor in the sport of MMA. Nicknamed "The Snowman” - because like a snowball he’s white, compact, and seems to get stronger and larger the more he competes – by his competitors in the 1999 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship, Monson’s career could have taken a very different turn had he not found success in MMA.
12 Rich Franklin
11 Terry Martin
10 Peggy Morgan
9 Tor Troeng
8 Carlos Newton
Carlos Newton is certainly an educated man. One of the original MMA pioneers, Newton is perhaps most well-known for his unique fighting style - a fighting style which saw him use a mixture of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, judo, wrestling and boxing, in addition to "Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu”. His life away from the octagon and his academic background is equally, if not more impressive.
7 John Cholish
6 Jake Butler
5 Sam Hoger
4 Nick Denis
3 Rosi Sexton
After more than a decade as a top MMA fighter, “The Surgeon” boasts an impressive record, but it’s her pursuits away from the MMA scene that set her apart from the rest and make her a truly remarkable individual. Let’s start with her academic accomplishments. Rosemary Ann Sexton PhD – PhD because she received her doctorate in Theoretical Computer Science from the University of Manchester – also has a BA in Mathematics from the prestigious Cambridge University, a BSc Osteopathy, and an MSc in Mathematical logic- too many to discuss so listing them will have to do.
2 Rhadi Ferguson
1 Seth Kleinbeck
Seth Kleinbeck, nicknamed “Mass Destruction,” is a fierce competitor in all walks of life. After leaving the Marines on a medical discharge, Kleinbeck chose instead to become a doctor and study medicine at the University of Arkansas’ college of medicine. It was in his final year of study that he began to compete and train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and found that he was rather good at the martial art. Today, Kleinbeck balances his love for martial arts and treating his patients and has grown his small-town medical practice in Hazen – a career that’s seen his feet remain firmly on the ground whilst his cage fighting endeavors continue to prosper.
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