For some up-and-coming mixed martial artists, holding a regular day job is a must in order to make ends meet. Others held strange and unusual jobs to support themselves before their MMA careers took off. Here’s a list of prominent mixed martial artists who held atypical jobs outside the octagon prior to making their mark as fighters:
- Houston Alexander. Though Alexander’s mixed martial arts career was fairly short, he did achieve notoriety during its height to go along with his success as an underground DJ. Alexander went by the stage name “Scrib,” and was a prominent fixture in Nebraska’s off-mainstream hip hop circuit.
- Joe Lauzon. Lauzon worked his way up UFC’s lightweight ranks to become one of the most respected competitors in his weight class. Would you believe that he was a computer geek before he achieved success as an MMA fighter? It’s true — Lauzon worked for years as a computer network administrator. In fact, he still held his computing job during the early days of his fighting career.
- Shane Carwin. Most mixed martial arts fans don’t know it, but the man who relieved Frank Mir of the heavyweight championship is a credentialed engineer. In fact, Carwin continued working as a mechanical engineer even after winning the title belt from Mir.
- Cristiane Santos. One of MMA’s best-known female competitors was actually a high-level handball player in Brazil before taking to the octagon.
- Georges St-Pierre. “GSP,” one of the most popular UFC fighters of all time, was a garbage man in his native Montreal prior to becoming a successful mixed martial artist.
- Hiroko Yamanaka. For the pure “wow” factor, Yamanaka should probably top this list. Before rising to prominence as a top female mixed martial artist, Yamanaka worked as a professional dominatrix.
Honorable mention goes to Allen Berube, who appeared on the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Outside of MMA, Berube is a successful restaurateur who owns and operates a lobster eatery in southern Florida.