10 UFC Fighters Who Arrived Late to MMA

By Dazzler

It’s funny where life can take you. The world of MMA is dog-eat-dog. It’s incredibly difficult to get to the top of the game, with many fighters dedicating their lives to achieving greatness. However, that’s not the case for all of them. Some fighters came to the game quite late.

Today, we’re going to look at 10 different UFC veterans who came to MMA later than you might expect. We’ve got former footballers, a school teacher, and a medical technician who all decided to pull on the famous four-ounce gloves.

None of these athletes are cans either. There are several former UFC champions and title contenders on this list, so if that doesn’t inspire you to get off your couch and down to your local MMA gym, we don’t know what will.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Matt Mitrione

Currently, on the Bellator roster, Mitrione came late to the sport of MMA. He was a defensive tackle for Purdue University before joining the NFL in 2001. He played for four years with the Giants and the Vikings before foot injuries forced him into retirement.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

After training with UFC veteran Chris Lytle, Mitrione was given a spot on the 2009 edition of the Ultimate Fighter. Mitrione hadn’t even fought professionally at this point. He’d lose in the quarterfinals, but go on to beat Marcus Jones in the finale event. Since then, he’s had a solid career at the top of the game.