The world of combat sports has seen a number of instances when prominent kickboxers turn MMA fighters. This includes Tyron Spong, who was looking for an MMA career prior to his leg injury, Gokhan Saki who signed with UFC, and the list goes on.
GLORY Kickboxing compiled a clip featuring the Top 5 athletes, who has had a successful journey inside the MMA cage. Some did it while still throwing punches and kicks inside the ring, and the other way around.
You can watch the video up top, while the list is presented below.
Top 5 MMA fighters who were also kickboxers
- Quinton Jackson
- Mirko Cro Cop
- Alistair Overeem
- Israel Adesanya
- Mark Hunt
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson recorded two bouts inside the squared circle as kickboxer, when he faced and defeated Cyril Abidi. The first contest ended by knockout within the first two minutes, while the rematch went a full distance in favor of “Rampage”, who earned a unanimous decision.
Former PRIDE heavyweight champion Mirko Filipovic had a successful run as a kickboxer, winning 26 professional bouts, which includes 13 stoppages. “Cro Cop” defeated such kickboxing legends as Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, among others.
UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem held the titles in Strikeforce and DREAM. In addition, “The Reem” won a prestigious K-1 World Grand Prix. His resume includes the victories over, Badr Hari, Spong, Aerts, Saki, and many others.
The reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya recorded over 70 kickboxing bouts. He is the winner of GLORY middleweight contender tournament, which earned him a title shot against former champion Jason Wilnis.
Over the course of his career, heavyweight legend and all-round good guy Mark Hunt won UFC honors as many as seven times, which includes 2 Knockouts of the Night, 3 Fights of the Night and 2 Performances of the Night. Earlier in his fighting career “The Super Samoan” won 30 professional kickboxing bouts as well as K-1 World Grand Prix.