(Marcus Jones vs. Eduardo Boza, 11/10/07)
Though the UFC is keeping the cast of TUF 10 under wraps for the most part, MMA Junkie is reporting that four of the 16 heavyweight hopefuls did time in the NFL before taking up fighting. Here’s a cheat sheet:
Marcus Jones: First-round draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996; spent six seasons as a defensive tackle, then moved to the Buffalo Bills for two years but didn’t play in the regular season. Training out of Gracie Tampa with Rob Kahn, the 35-year-old made his professional MMA debut in October 2007, and now holds a 4-1 record, with all fights ending in the first round.
(Brendan Schaub vs. Jay Lester, 6/13/08)
Brendan Schaub: Former fullback for the University of Colorado who spent some time warming the bench for the Buffalo Bills. His martial arts career is far more impressive. A training partner of Shane Carwin, Schaub has racked up a 4-0 record as a professional MMA fighter, and was the 2008 Colorado Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Absolute Advanced Grand Champion. He currently trains with Team Jackson in New Mexico and T’s KO Fight Club in Colorado. He became inspired to study martial arts after watching Bloodsport.
Matt Mitrione: Another defensive tackle who had a nine-game stint with the New York Giants in 2002, then spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings but didn’t appear in any regular-season games. The 30-year-old Illinois native has yet to make his professional MMA debut. I’m just saying, if they were to throw Kimbo a soft first opponent, this would probably be the guy.
Wes Shivers: Played three games with the Atlanta Falcons as an offensive lineman after being selected by the Tennessee Titans in the seventth round of the 2000 NFL draft. His MMA record is 0-1 as a professional and 4-0 as an amateur, and he has previously competed as a super heavyweight.
(Wes Shivers vs. Jerry Carrol, 3/7/09)