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MMA fighter Cris Cyborg

What MMA fighters do next

What MMA fighters do next

Ever wondered what some of the sport’s biggest names have gone on to do after retiring?

Ahead of UFC 222 live on BT Sport, we look at what MMA stars do after they hang up their gloves… 

UFC 222, Sunday 4 March, 3am, BT Sport 2/HD (CH 532/528)

Ready for another night of exhilarating MMA action? Your answer had better be yes, because UFC 222 is hitting your screens in the early hours of Sunday 4 March. As ever, the line-up is strong from start to finish, with not one but two headline fights. First, men’s featherweight favourite Frankie Edgar grapples the unbeaten Brian Ortega. Then, the UFC’s most feared female, and self-styled “baddest woman on the planet”, Cris Cyborg defends her Women’s Featherweight title against Russian UFC debutant Yana Kunitskaya.

If Cyborg (real name Cristiane Justino Venâncio) wins, the 32-year-old’s next stop could be a money-spinning re-match against Holly Holm. It's a big if, but if she loses (no offence to Kunitskaya, but the odds are not exactly in her favour) it could be the end of her glittering MMA career. 


Crazier things have happened in the Octagon. And if this is to be Cyborg’s last fight, what else could the Brazilian-American do to make a living? Read on, as we reveal the careers other MMA icons have pursued after leaving the sport…


Gina Carano

Gina Carano

Following the only defeat of her professional career against Cris Cyborg in August 2009, the world’s first female MMA star moved into the world of acting. After a couple of minor movie appearances, she took on the lead role in 2011 film Haywire, alongside Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum. An impressive performance boosted the 35-year-old’s big screen reputation, and she has gone on to appear in Fast & Furious 6 and Deadpool.


Randy Couture

WWE wrestling, coaching, clothing lines, gyms… you name it, The Natural has tried it since he finally retired from MMA at the age of 47. That said, he’s probably best known for the acting career that’s seen him appear in Hawaii Five-0 and star alongside Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham and Jet Li in The Expendables franchise.


Dan Hardy

Between 2004 and 2012, Nottingham’s Hardy put together a very successful 35-fight MMA career, which peaked when he fought the legendary Georges St-Pierre for the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 111. Since a heart condition forced him to hang up his gloves, he’s put his knowledge of the fighting game to good use as a television commentator and analyst.


Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor squaring up to Floyd Mayweather Jr

Although rumours suggest that McGregor will return to MMA in the near future, the Irishman has been a busy boy since his last UFC fight in November 2016. In August 2017, he moved into the world of boxing for a mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. And later this year, he is due to launch his first fashion line.


Keith Jardine

Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Luke Rockhold and Roger Gracie were among the big names this MMA cult hero fought between 2001 and 2012. A year after his final bout, he launched the Caveman Coffee Co with fellow MMA fighter Tait Fletcher and entrepreneur Lacie Mackey.


Pat Miletich

It’s a tough call as to whether this UFC Hall Of Famer is more famous for his fighting career, which saw him win the UFC Welterweight Championship, or his coaching career. He has trained 11 MMA world champions to date, including fellow Hall Of Fame star Matt Hughes. Oh, and he’s a commentator too!


Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey in WWE

Two years ago, the UFC’s first female champion was the big name in MMA, with even a couple of Hollywood blockbusters under her gold belt. But after back-to-back defeats, the 31-year-old has decided to swap the Octagon for the squared circle. “This is my life now,” she admitted after appearing at this January’s WWE Royal Rumble. Many found Rousey’s recent switch surprising, but it isn’t unprecedented. Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Ken Shamrock and Guardians Of The Galaxy's Dave Bautista have all starred in MMA and the WWE.


Brendan Schaub

Since ending his 15-fight MMA career at UFC 181, this heavyweight fighter has become a heavyweight media personality. He hosts MMA podcast Big Brown Breakdown, co-hosts the massively popular The Fighter And The Kid podcast, presents shows for American television channel E! and performs sell-out stand-up comedy gigs. Now that’s something to Schaub about (sorry).


Want more MMA goodness?

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