Friday, June 17, 2022

Eight NFL players we would love to see in UFC’s Octagon


NFL players usually have a ton of fight in their game. But how many could actually fight? Like UFC, MMA style? We list the top candidates.

By Adam H. Beasley

June 15, 2022


The Miami Dolphins recently visited American Top Team, the South Florida-based MMA academy that has produced some of UFC’s brightest stars.

The visit video, posted to UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal’s Twitter account, was great. It also got us thinking: Which current NFL players would make for great (or at least entertaining) MMA fighters? Here’s our list of eight that come to mind.

Which NFL players do we want to see in UFC?

There are plenty of athletic traits that are valuable in both football and MMA. The National Library of Medicine in 2019 published a study entitled “Anthropometric and Physiological Profile of Mixed Martial Art Athletes: A Brief Review.”

“The main findings of this review,” researchers wrote, “suggested an overall profile of low body fat, high flexibility, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and anaerobic power, and average cardiovascular endurance.”

What’s more, the best fighters have quick reaction time, excellent leverage, and smooth movements. Sounds like we’re describing top-tier cornerbacks, no?

But the best fighters can’t just be created in a lab. Those with an elite toughness and spirit and a tolerance for punishment are the best of the best.

So who are some NFL players that fit some, if not all, of these characteristics?

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Baltimore Ravens

Linderbaum’s floor game would be elite. The heavyweight finished third in the Iowa high school state tournament as a senior and surely could have completed collegiately.

Linderbaum, who was the 25th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, is an all-around athlete. He also was an all-state thrower on the track team and also starred on his high school’s baseball team.

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