Many sports stars and athletes have tried their hands at mixed martial arts with varying degrees of success.
For every Brock Lesnar, there’s 15 other crossover athletes who did not have such a smooth transition into the world’s most violent and dangerous sport.
We here at LowKick MMA have compiled a solid list of 10 crossover sports stars who just couldn’t make it in mixed martial arts.
10. Jose Canseco
Jose Canseco had a long and storied career in baseball before trying his hand at mixed martial arts. The Cuban-American was a six time all-star and won two World Series championships with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and New York Yankees in 2000 before a steroid scandal in 2005 tarnished his reputation as a professional athlete.
Four years after the steroid scandal, Canseco attempted a career in MMA. The former baseball star took on Korean giant Choi Hong-man at DREAM 9 back in 2009. It was the perfect freak-show fight for its’ Japanese audience, which was hosting DREAM’s Hulk Grand Prix.
Canseco, while a sturdy 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, was dwarfed by Choi, who weighed in at 320 pounds while standing at a massive 7-foot-2. Canseco tried to stay light on his feet, at times running from Choi to reset at the center of the ring, but the big man eventually caught up to him, forcing Canseco to tap to strikes at just 1:17 minutes into the first round.
“That’s a big man,” Canseco said of Choi at the time. “I ran into one of his left jabs and that almost knocked me out. You have no idea how scary it was facing a man that big.”
Canseco would never fight in mixed martial arts ever again, and if his performance against Choi is any indication, he probably never will again. However, he did participate in a celebrity boxing match with former child star Danny Bonaduce in a match that went to a draw.
But, with 462 home runs to his name and 17 seasons in the MLB, Canseco will be remembered as a baseball player rather than a fighter.