5 Athletes Whose Education Helped Them Outperform Their Opponent
The education of a fighter shouldn’t be looked over in the MMA as the education of a fighter gives them the edge in the MMA world and the academic qualification of a fighter also helps them in their post-career life or in dual career management. Academic qualification in the MMA world holds a significance that is not discussed much. Many fighters hail from the NCAA circuit and turn towards MMA giving them competitive edge as they already have been fighting professionally. Academic qualification also helps the fighters post-career. Some of the fighters who have opened up their gyms are applying analytical skills they acquired in college to train fighters in a much better way, and these are also the kind of skills taught to athletes in College MMA Programs. Other fighters who have had superior academic qualifications have had very successful post-MMA careers in fields varying from Medical to Finance. Let’s take a look at a few examples where academic qualification helped the fighters outperform their opponents.
RAMPAGE JACKSON VS RASHAD EVANS
Rashad Evans is a Michigan State University graduate that took up MMA after NCAA. In 2009, Rashad Evans was pitted against his fierce rival Rampage Jackson, both of them as coaches. Evans and Jackson both had very different styles of coaching. Evans relied on preparing his fighters for every fight. Analyzing the opponent, exploiting their weakness and meticulously gaining results from the fights. Jackson, on the other hand, relied heavily on his fighter’s skill and will power. Evans had been on the NCAA circuit during his time in Michigan State University and applied what he had learned over the years in his coaching style towards his fighters. Making them work smarter and harder. We will also discuss one of his trainees, Randy Couture next.
Randy Couture is a Oklahoma State University graduate and was a three time all-American and an anchor in 1990 national championship team. To his time at Oklahoma State University, Couture says
“It was a very important time in my growth as an athlete and a man,”
After his MMA retirement, Couture went on to form a gym of his own known as Xtreme Couture. Randy Couture was the brains behind this first of its kind gym. Couture’s gym was adaptive and his training style too. This made his fighters better than what they seemed to be on paper. Fighters like Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddel and Tim Sylvia got handed defeats by fighters much older than them. Couture is also the reason of the influx of college graduates into MMA. Many have followed his path and became successful in the gruesome environment of the MMA world.
A two time NCAA Division 1 all-American from Hofstra University with excellent wrestling chops is a rare breed of university graduates in MMA who held a UFC belt. The former UFC middle weight champion, a feat that he achieved by becoming the first man to defeat Anderson Silva. The education Weidman received at Hofstra University helped advance his career greatly. He trained at the nearby Matt and Nick Serra’s BJJ Academy where he start to learn Brazilian Ju Jitsu. As the facility was near the campus, Weidman was able to participate and win a competition in his weight class. Weidmann also opened up Longo and Weidman LAW MMA in 2011 where he was the instructor, operator and owner. His tenure at the Hofstra university really helped him advance his career in MMA as his initial ju jitsu training facility was near the campus.
Kenny Florian is one of the unique names in the MMA world as he hails from a soccer background. Florian attended Boston College where he played NCAA Division 1 soccer for his college. After graduating, his interests shifted to MMA. Due to his educational background and athletic ability, Florian was able to quickly master the trade of MMA. Kenny competed in the season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter, only to lose out to Diego Sanchez in the finale. Kenny Florian is one of the most shrewd game planners in MMA. Despite him being at a disadvantage, he out thought opponents on numerous occasions. This is just another example of a MMA fighter’s academic career helping his sporting career.