Balancing Act: These MMA Fighters’ Other Careers

Balancing Act: These MMA Fighters’ Other Careers

Picture Kobe Bryant finishing his deathly legendary early morning practice, take a shower, and prepare his laptop to do some freelance web developing gig.

Or perhaps Novak Djokovic spending his off-tournament days patrolling traffic.

Or Manny Pacquiao calling the shots from the sidelines in a pro basketball league in the Philippines. (Oh wait, that did actually happen!)

It is very unlikely that professional athletes as heralded as Djokovic or Bryant in their respective sports take up some extra work outside of their very own demanding craft (Pacquiao is the exception), but most MMA fighters get by their daily lives juggling two or three jobs at once. Some of them are just downright unbelievable!

We pretty much know Brock Lesnar being with the WWE, Shane Carwin being a Mechanical Engineer, Rich Franklin as a high school Math teacher and Cung Le (and many others) showing up here and there, and sometimes starring at, B-rate movies.

Their colleagues, however, has post/pre-MMA careers that will completely surprise you.

Jorge Santiago

Santiago’s MMA career is mediocre at best and the Brazilian has bounced around different promotions in 37 fights. Maybe his most notable accomplishment was being Sengoku’s first Middleweight champion. Before showing his fighting chops to the world, “The Sandman” is actually a promising surfer. That’s probably why he called himself “Sandman” in the first place.

Beaches, sand. Got it? Anyway…


Nick Thompson

Once considered a top-10 lightweight, Nick Thompson plied most of his trade outside the UFC and has fought in such promotions as Bellator, Sengoku, and EliteXC. He is one of only four people (and the first one) to hold a win over acclaimed lightweight Eddie Alvarez.

While the number of fights under Thompson’s belt (53) will probably make you think his passion lies mainly on the fight sport, you couldn’t be more wrong. Thompson primarily fought just to get himself by law school and three years after passing the Minnesota bar exam, he decided to leave MMA behind and practice criminal and personal injury law. Logical, right?

Anyway, according to a story by MMA Fighting, Sean Sherk and Jake Shields may also have something to do with Thompson quitting MMA.


Joe Lauzon

The Human Bonus Machine is one scary, scary dude. I didn’t mean the picture but it certainly highlights my point.

J-Lau has been through absolute wars in the Octagon before and has lived to tell the tale. Showing Lauzon’s penchant for delivering highlight-reel performances win or lose, the Massachussets native has earned an insane 13 post-fight bonuses in his career!

And he’s a full-time network administrator, too. Wait, what?

Yes, people! Stereotyping may not allow computer geeks to be tough, but Joe Lauzon shatters the boundaries, in addition to shattering people’s faces (sometimes, at his own face’s expense).

If his fighting career is over, Lauzon’s degree in Computer Science will make sure he’s well taken care of.


Frankie Edgar

Probably the pound-for-pound toughest fighter in MMA, Frankie Edgar is a former lightweight champion who has beaten the likes of Sean Sherk, Gray Maynard, and B.J. Penn (thrice).

Before he took Mixed Martial Arts seriously, though, Edgar coached high school wrestling and at the same time worked in his stepfather’s plumbing business!


Houston Alexander

If you have seven kids like Houston Alexander does, heck, holding two jobs may still not be enough financially. That’s why “The Assassin” actually has three.

Aside from being a full-time fighter, Alexander is a well-known radio personality at Omaha’s KOPW (Power 106.9) and a part-time inspirational counselor for the Lutheran Family Services.


Georges St. Pierre

If we’re talking humble beginnings, this might be the humblest.

Before GSP climbed up the MMA ladder to became one the world’s best fighters, he was throwing around pails of trash in Canada for a living. Seriously, Georges St. Pierre worked as a garbageman before making it big!

Funny how life plays tricks on us.


Hiroko Yamanaka

We have a radio personality, a plumber, a lawyer, a garbageman, a computer geek. Now, what else?

How about Hiroko Yamanaka the dominatrix? If you don’t what that means, click here.

Yamanaka, nicknamed Cat’s Eye, for a fact, only trained MMA because she thinks it will help her be more proficient in her other job. Wow! Now that she’s retired, we already know what she’s up to.

Jan Obguia

Just an average Joe that prides about the fact that he played basketball on all three of the biggest island groups in the Philippines. Enjoys eating and 70s music as much as the next guy, but thinks there isn’t a more delightful thing in the world than learning. For comments, reactions, suggestions, let Jan Rey know below.