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Tag: NFL players in MMA

Exclusive: Brendan Schaub Discusses Upcoming UFC 165 Bout With Friend and Fellow TUF 10 Alum Matt Mitrione


(Schaub and Mitrione, likely watching that video of the Sumo wrestler getting ragdolled just off camera. Photo via Getty Images.)

By Elias Cepeda

Friends and fellow UFC heavyweights Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione will finally fight one another this Saturday at UFC 165. Both men were celebrated athletes long before they ever got into MMA and the UFC, with extensive football backgrounds in the AFL and NFL, respectively.

When you get two athletes who hail from similar backgrounds in the cage, there is often an added element of rivalry to the match up. Randy Couture facing Mike Van Arsdale, for example, or “Minotauro” Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum.

It doesn’t work that way with football, though, according to Schaub. “Not really,” he tells CagePotato.

“I think Matt is the more decorated football player and that I am more the decorated mixed martial artist. I pride myself on being a martial artist. I have a strong work ethic and was born to compete and fight. Martial arts is my true calling. Who the better football player is doesn’t really matter to me.”

Alright, the question was a silly one. But one still has to legitimately wonder what it will be like for Schaub and Mitrione to go all out against one another in the Octagon. They are not “friends” in the generic, early Tito Ortiz/Chuck Liddell sense. Schaub and Mitrione have been close and in constant contact with one another since they were both participants on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

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MMA/Wrestling Body Slams In Football Are, Like, SO Hot Right Now

If you didn’t think that Canelo Alvarez’s multiple attempts to guillotine (and even kimura, at one point) Floyd Mayweather over the course of their 10 round throwdown last weekend was proof enough that MMA is slowly, perhaps even subconsciously trickling into mainstream sports, check these out.

Chances are you’ve seen or at least heard that more and more professional football players are taking up mixed martial arts by the day — either as a hobby or as a way of staying in shape in the offseason. As well they should; it’s a fantastic cardio workout, it increases one’s understanding of balance and leverage, etc. But perhaps the most interesting effect that MMA training (or MMA in general) is having on the world of football can be seen in the vicious slams that have punctuated the first two weeks of the 2013 NFL season.

Just look at the video above, for instance, in which New York Jets cornerback Ellis Lankster pulls off a b-e-a-utiful German suplex on Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Eric Page. And if you think that MMA/wrestling-style slam was an isolated incident, just check out the ones we’ve placed after the jump…

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Pesky Steroid Suspensions Got You Down, NFL Players? Why Not Try Some MMA?

Calvin Pace New York Jets
(In the NFL, being caught for steroids means never having to say you’re sorry.)

While we’ve been caught up talking up the former NFL players on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” we totally neglected the current NFL players who are into MMA.  Sometimes they do it for conditioning, or to get tougher, or, as this New York Daily News report suggests, because they want to stay in shape while serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. 

Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace is headed to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas with fellow suspended substance abusers Will Smith (not that one) and Charles Grant, both of the New Orleans Saints, to work out while they wait for their suspensions to be over and their systems to get clean.  Basically, steroid use in the NFL is now so prevalent that not only is there no real public or media backlash against the players who get caught, they can plan on having plenty of traveling companions during their suspensions.  When asked why he chose MMA to fill his league-mandated off time, Pace had this to say:

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