World class combat sport athletes who competed in MMA » MMA General » General MMA Talk » World class combat sport athletes who competed in MMA
9/12/08 10:30:16AM
I thought it would be interesting to make a list of the people who performed at the highest levels in other combat sports before or after getting into MMA. I want this to really be a list of legitimate champions--no Karo for judo or Sakara for boxing and no sports with disputed pedigrees and championship credentials. I'm not going to do a whole lot of research, so hopefully you guys can supplement the names in these categories:

BJJ/Submission wrestling (ADCC absolute or superfight champions only)
Ricco Rodriguez
Roberto Traven
Mark Kerr
Ricardo Arona
Dean Lister
Roger Gracie

Judo (Olympic gold medalists only)
Hidehiko Yoshida
Pawel Nastula
Makoto Takimoto

Wrestling(Olympic gold medalists only)
Karam Ibrahim
Rulon Gardner
Kenny Monday
Kevin Jackson
Mark Schultz
Istvan Majoros

Kickboxing (K-1 GP champs or Thai stadium champs only)
Mark Hunt
Semmy Schilt
Peter Aerts

Boxing (IBF, WBA, WBC or WBO world champs only)
James Warring
Ray Mercer
(Mohammed Ali and Tommy Morrison under very restricted MMA rules)

9/12/08 11:47:52AM
I am fairly certain Goodidge won a K-1 GP. Can't remember which one though.

EDIT: I looked it up and it wasn't a world GP, just a Hawaii one

Also Cung Lee was a San Shou champ I beleive. I am not sure if that counts or not
9/12/08 1:48:09PM
Melvin Manhoef immediately came to mind when I saw the kickboxers, but I don't know if he ever won any K-1 titles.
9/12/08 2:07:40PM
well i know this is obvious but...:


Fedor- multiple time World Combat Sambo Champion and Russian Combat Sambo Champion
Aleks- two-time Russian national Sambo champion and two-time world Sambo champion in the absolute divisions
Arlovski (on the edge of putting him on the list)- Junior World Sambo Champion, as well as a silver medalist in the World Sambo Championship and World Sambo Cup.

Also, Jacare was the 2004 and 2005 Openweight World Jiu-Jitsu Champion.

and although he didn't technically win any OW championships, he came pretty damn close which is amazing for someone his size; so honorable mention to Marcelo Garcia.
9/12/08 2:47:58PM
A little arbitrary and maybe a bit snobby, but I did not want to include sports like San Shou, karate, sambo, etc. where there is not an Olympic track or a well-established promotion which forces champions and contenders to meet. I don't think the world championships in sports like that carry as much weight, but that's solely a personal opinion.
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