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Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees

Mixed martial arts is a combat sport and can be life-changing in some cases, as athletes often risk their lives in the octagon. However, the pay scale in the MMA world has been a hot topic for several years. For a variety of reasons, many fighters have used education to secure their futures after retiring from the sport. While many professional MMA fighters are high school dropouts, several completed their education and earned degrees in various fields. Others do regular jobs to support their fighting careers. 

 

10) Joe Lauzon

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Joe Lauzon began his professional MMA career in 2004 and fought in several promotions like CZ and Absolute Fighting Championships before finally joining the UFC in 2006. He has faced many UFC greats like Jorge Masvidal, Kenny Florian, Anthony Pettis and Diego Sanchez during his career. Lauzon has a computer science degree from the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Before devoting full time to his MMA career, he worked as a computer technician. 

 

9) Shane Carwin

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Shane Carwin was an incredible heavyweight fighter who fought in promotions like Ultimate Texas Showdown, ROF and Art of War. He also won the ROF Heavyweight Championship. Carwin entered the UFC in 2008 and at UFC 111, he won the heavyweight title by knocking out Frank Mir. He is an engineer and received his degree from the Colorado School of Mines. He worked on computer models during the day and then trained in the evenings after work. 

 

8) Rich Franklin

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Rich Franklin has had a very successful MMA career and he is a former UFC Middleweight champion as well. Franklin retired from the sport with a 29-7 record. He scored 20 of his 29 wins by knockout.  Franklin earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in education from the University of Cincinnati. “Ace” taught mathematics at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Franklin created his own clothing line and he has also been the vice president of the ONE Championship. 

 

7) Stipe Miocic 

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Stipe Miocic is one of the greatest MMA fighters to ever fight in the UFC octagon. He is a two-time UFC Heavyweight champion and has incredible wins over fighters like Mark Hunt, Junior Dos Santos and Daniel Cormier. “The Silencer” is a knockout specialist and has scored 15 out of his 20 wins by knockout. Miocic has a degree in marketing and communications. He also took paramedic classes at a local community college.

 

6) Sara McMann 

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Sara McMann began her professional MMA career in 2011 and in just two years, she earned a place in the biggest MMA promotion, the UFC. McMann has faced top fighters like Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, Miesha Tate and Julianna Pena. She earned a theater degree from Lock Haven University before receiving a master’s degree from Gardner Webb University. As part of her consulting work, Sara travels to various youth clubs and promotes the benefits of wrestling. 

 

5) Tecia Torres

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Tecia Torres entered the UFC in 2015 and competed with top female fighters like Rose Namajunas, Jessica Andrade and Joanna Jedrzejcyk. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology before earning a master’s degree in criminology. Torres once revealed that her dream job after her MMA career is over is to work for the FBI or DEA. She also wants to help children achieve their dreams. 

 

4) Dominick Reyes

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Dominick Reyes fought in promotions like KOTC, Hoosier Fight Club and LFA before entering the UFC in 2017. Reyes has fought against great fighters like Chris Weidman, Jon Jones, Jiri Prochazka and Jan Blachowicz. Reyes earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems by studying at Stony Brook University. Dominick relied on his degree while seeking a title shot to eventually fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. 

 

3) Takeya Mizugaki

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Takeya Mizugaki had a successful MMA career in promotions like Shooto, GCM: Cage Force, and WEC before entering the UFC. He faced top fighters like Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt. Mizugaki earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Kanto Gakuin University. Takeya once said that obtaining his degree will help him find success after he retires. 

 

2) Terry Martin

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Terry Martin’s life changed when he was shot multiple times at the age of 15. After surviving the shooting, he committed to getting his education. He graduated from high school and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Illinois and a master’s degree in criminal psychology from Concordia University. Martin wants others to learn from his experience and achieve their dreams. Martin has had a great MMA career as well and he retired with a 23-12 record. 

 

1) Jan Blachowicz 

Intellectual Brawlers: 10 UFC Fighters With Top Degrees
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Jan Blachowicz is one of the most amazing MMA fighters to ever fight in the UFC octagon. He is a former light heavyweight champion. The Polish fighter has faced MMA greats like Luke Rockhold, Israel Adesanya and Alex Periera. He received a civil engineering degree while studying in Poland. Blachowicz once said that MMA is his life, but he plans to use his engineering degree after he retires. 

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