- T.R. Foley
They're athletic geniuses in their respective sports, so don't expect many -- or potentially any -- of the following 10 athletes to forfeit their current occupations in favor of MMA. But if there's a chance, as with any wish list, perhaps some of them will pursue a career in the cage. Half of the athletes on the list below are plucked from traditional feeder disciplines, perhaps piquing curiosity and speculation about their futures if their current goals are invalidated. The other half are mega-watt superstars who've shown interest in MMA just by fandom or through athletic training.
So we've scanned the professional sports landscape for 10 athletes who possess the physical gifts, training and marketability to make a career of fighting in the cage. Who's your bet from the list below?
1. Patrick Willis | San Francisco 49ers | NFL
Bigger and meaner than most any other linebacker in the NFL, Willis has spent that past several summers cross-training in MMA. A physical specimen at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Willis' conditioning and tenacity might be on par with most of the heavyweights in the UFC. As a middle linebacker, his handfighting techniques (shedding blocks, controlling guards and tackles at the point of attack) are elite, as his All-Pro status would indicate.
T.R. Foley offers his list of 10 non-MMA athletes who could do well as fighters