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From the Octagon to the big screen: Five fighters who swapped MMA for Hollywood

Tom Mulligan
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
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MMA Pioneer Bas Rutten alongside Kevin James in 'Here Comes The Boom' (2012)
MMA Pioneer Bas Rutten alongside Kevin James in 'Here Comes The Boom' (2012)

Over the years it has become something of a tradition that the biggest stars in the world of Mixed Martial Arts make the jump to Hollywood either shortly before or shortly after they retire from the sport.

From the likes of MMA pioneers Don Frye and Bas Rutten through to modern era stars Urijah Faber and current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, fighters making the transition from the cage to the silver screen is something that looks set to continue for a long time to come, particularly considering the UFC is now owned by talent management powerhouse WME-IMG.

While it is an established career move that many have tried, not all have been equally successful.

Let's take a look at five of the biggest names to successfully transition from the bright lights of the Octagon to the equally bright lights of Hollywood.


1. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

'The A Team' Japan Premiere
'The A Team' Japan Premiere

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson already had a handful of TV and film appearances before getting his big break playing the iconic B.A Baracus in the 2010 film adaptation of classic TV show The A-Team, appearing alongside Hollywood A-list stars Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson.

After bouncing back from losing his UFC title to Forrest Griffen by picking up a pair of wins over Wanderlei Silva and Keith Jardine, "Rampage" passed on the opportunity to headline UFC 107 in his hometown of Memphis in order to shoot the movie. A bold decision to make considering he was likely only a win or two away from getting a shot at earning his title back.

Jackson struggled to recapture his previous form when he eventually made his UFC return at UFC 114, dropping a unanimous decision to long time rival Rashad Evans which kicked off a disappointing run which saw the former champion put together a record of 2-4-0 before leaving the UFC.

Since then of course, Jackson has gone on to find a new lease of life with Bellator, building a record of 6-2-0 with the promotion while continuing to balance acting work with his fighting career.

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