There are plenty of connections between the NFL and mixed-martial arts. Premier among them is Chandler Jones‘ brother and UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, who just so happens to be the headliner on UFC 165’s fight card on Saturday. Now, there will be at least two more NFL-MMAers to add to an already growing list.
MMA has become a popular offseason workout regimen for NFL players, with many using it to try and improve themselves for the season. Matt Mitrione and Brendan Schaub are taking the opposite approach.
Mitrione and Schaub are set to square off against one another in the octagon in the UFC event on Saturday night. While other former NFL stars, like Hall of Fame running back Herschel Walker, have become MMA fighters in the past, Saturday will mark the first time two former NFL players will face one another in a bout.
Neither fighter had a very long or successful career in the NFL, but both did play in the league for a short spell. Mitrione, 35, played just nine regular-season games as a defensive lineman with the Giants in 2005. Schaub, meanwhile, never saw any regular-season action, spending just a few weeks as a fullback on the Buffalo Bills practice squad.
They may not have left much of a lasting impression on the football field, but Mitrione (6-2 MMA record) and Schaub (9-3) have made the most of their MMA careers thus far. Saturday will be just another notch on an already impressive resume for both of them.
Photo via Twitter/@KOrepsCanada