Top 20 crossover fighters

Since the early days of the UFC, the fighters competing have
always had dreams that took them away from the blood, sweat and
tears inside the cage as they looked towards a second career to
start after the final Octagon door closes.

In today’s list we will take a look at the 20 greatest
crossovers in UFC fighter history and there are plenty to choose
from.

#20: Urijah Faber the singer on the Oleander track
‘Fight’

Sacramento-based rock band Oleander had a few minor hits in the
90’s with songs such as ‘Why I’m Here’ and ‘I Walk Alone’ while
also being featured on prominent film soundtracks like
American Pie. Sacramento also just happens to
be the home of former WEC champion Urijah Faber and in 2011 the
band asked him to guest on a track they wrote called ‘Fight’ that
was eventually featured in the WWE video game released in 2012. His
powerful words in the song were as follows — ‘All day,
everyday, I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve been waiting for this
moment, it’s time to fight!’

#19: Keith Jardine in Breaking Bad

For those unaware,
Breaking Bad was filmed in Albuquerque, New
Mexico and the show would routinely cast actors and actresses as
extras from the area on the series. Former
Ultimate Fighter season 2 competitor Keith
Jardine landed a role where he played a bar patron who gets slugged
by DEA Agent Hank Schrader played by Dean Norris. Jardine continues
to act and also starred in
The
Mindy Project
on FOX during a recent episode that featured some
other MMA favorites on the comedy.

#18: Yoshihiro Akiyama the singer

The man they call ‘Sexyama’ is no stranger to being in the
spotlight in his home country of Japan where he’s married to a
famous fashion model while also being a decorated Judoka before he
became a fighter. Little did you know he also possessed some golden
vocal chords because in 2008, Akiyama took to the stage to belt out
a tune at the 2008 Dream Concert on New Year’s Eve in Japan. Don’t
take our word for it, let Sexyama tell you how it’s done.

#17: Forrest Griffin in Law & Order SVU

Off of the success of his run on
The Ultimate Fighter, Forrest Griffin decided
to take a turn to acting in 2007 when he landed a role on the
popular series Law & Order SVU. On the show, Griffin played an
‘ultimate fighter’ who was accused of murdering a teenager while
having co-star and former rapper Ice-T’s wife CoCo play his
fiancée on the show. It’s Griffin’s first appearance on this
list and who knows what other talents this former world champion
might possess.

#16: Michael Bisping as DJ Mikey B

Before Michael Bisping was everyone’s favorite middleweight to
hate, he was an aspiring DJ performing in clubs and bars throughout
England. A master of beats, techno and dubstep, Bisping went under
the moniker ‘DJ Mikey B’ and over the last few years he’s picked up
the turntables and managed to pick up some major club gigs around
some UFC events. He retired the DJ name when he first made it big
in the UFC, but lately his passion for the craft has returned and
he’s started spinning again whenever the time allows him to get
back in the club again.

#15: Tito Ortiz in ‘The Crow: Wicked Prayer’

This is another instance where the fighter on this list probably
won’t be taking home any Academy Awards, but former UFC champion
Tito Ortiz did manage to land a role in this 2005 sequel to the
popular comic book action film The Crow. In the film, Ortiz plays a
gang member named Famine but he does get to act alongside some
pretty famous names. Angel and Bones star David Boreanaz leads the
way with appearances by Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui,
American Pie and Sharknado star Tara Reid as well as action icon
Danny Trejo. We’ll leave out Ortiz’s other acting roles in
mega-hits like ‘Zombie Strippers’.

#14: John Lewis in Sons of Anarchy

Blink and you might miss him, but two-time UFC veteran and
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor John Lewis made a couple of
appearances on this season of
Sons Of
Anarchy
as the right hand man to dirty cop Charlie Barasky,
played by RoboCop actor Peter Weller. Lewis even managed to take a
bullet during one of the scenes. Since he stopped fighting in 2000,
Lewis began picking up roles in films and TV while still teaching
in Las Vegas where he worked with fighters like former UFC
heavyweight Gilbert Yvel. The current season of Sons Of Anarchy is
still airing on FX and Barasky is still a major character in the
story arc happening right now so keep your eyes peeled because
Lewis may just pop up again.

#13: Rich Franklin in Cyborg Soldier

Rich Franklin, who went from math teacher in Cincinnati to UFC
champion, dabbled in acting in a 2008 straight to video release
called
Cyborg Soldier. In the movie he played, guess
what? A cyborg soldier. Yep, Franklin took the lead in the film
where he portrayed a cyborg who tries to escape the dangerous
scientists who helped to create him. So how did Franklin with one
role end up this high on the list? Because he got to act opposite
of Kelly Kapowski AKA Tiffani Amber Thiessen from ‘Saved By The
Bell’. That alone gets Franklin some serious street cred.

#12: Oleg Taktarov as an actor in films such as Predators
and National Treasure

Russian legend Oleg Taktarov might best be known to fight fans
as a competitor in the early days of the UFC when he was taking on
famous names like Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn but lately he’s been
popping up in more and more action films from Hollywood. Cast
perfectly as a thug in most roles, Taktarov has acted opposite
Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Nicolas Cage over the years and he’s
still very busy with film and television roles to this day. While
his last UFC fight was in 1995, Taktarov is still making the
promotion proud by staying in the public spotlight with various
acting roles all over the world.

#11: Jay Hieron as a professional stuntman and
actor

Former UFC welterweight Jay Hieron will become a very common
name to movie goers in the new few years as he begins to transition
more and more into the acting world. Already actively pursuing
roles while he was still fighting full time in the UFC, Hieron has
taken up acting and stuntwork in a whole new realm lately while
performing in films like ‘The Avengers’ as well as taking parts in
upcoming movies such as ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and the new
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ remake. Hieron is a very busy man
who stays in high demand, so next time you’re out at the movies
make sure to keep an eye out for this famous fighting face.

#10: Forrest Griffin the author

Forrest Griffin made it to the peak of the UFC as a fighter when
he won the light heavyweight title in a stunning upset of Quinton
‘Rampage’ Jackson, but that was just the tip of the iceberg when it
came to his talents. Deep down, Griffin was also a writer and so
far he’s released two books. One was a more typical fight novel
called
‘Got Fight’ but his second book titled
‘Be Ready When the S—t Goes Down: A Survival
Guide to the Apocalypse’
is a hilarious, first-person view into
Griffin’s mind for how he would handle the end of the world.
There’s been no word since his last novel was published in 2011 if
he would put out another book, but this might be the area Griffin
is the most successful so hopefully he returns there one day.

#9: Bas Rutten in ‘Here Comes the Boom’

Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten hasn’t fought in
several years, but that doesn’t mean he still doesn’t count as a
member of the Octagon family. Just last year, Rutten landed a role
in the comedy ‘Here Comes The Boom’ where he acted alongside his
good friend and student Kevin James in a story about a high school
teacher who becomes an MMA fighter trying to earn a few bucks to
help keep his school’s music program alive. While James was the
lead alongside actress Salma Hayak, it was Rutten that stole the
show with his comedic timing and pitch perfect physical acting.

#8: Cung Le in ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’

Veteran middleweight fighter Cung Le has been acting a lot over
the last few years and while his time inside the cage may be
counting down, his thespian roles are certainly not. In 2012, Le
starred alongside award winning actor Russell Crowe in the martial
arts film ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’, which was produced by
Academy Award winner Quentin Tarantino and directed by Wu-Tang Clan
member The RZA. Le has also done some stunt and fight coordination
in films and when his fighting career is finally over, he will
already have a great backup plan for his future with acting roles
still lining up for his services.

#7: Tait Fletcher in Breaking Bad

Tait Fletcher never actually competed in the UFC, but he was a
cast member during the third season of
The Ultimate Fighter where he ended up being
coached by Ken Shamrock. In fact, Fletcher ended up going
toe-to-toe with his coach over a disagreement about training that
became one of the most famous scenes of that entire season.
Fletcher continued to fight for a few years after his appearance on
the reality show, but then began transitioning first to stunt work
and eventually acting roles in films and TV. In 2012, Fletcher
landed his biggest role to date — playing Aryan gang member
Lester on the hit AMC show ‘Breaking Bad’. Fletcher could most
famously be seen during the final season when he dragged actor
Aaron Paul out from his hiding spot beneath a car during one
tension filled scene in the third to last episode for the series.
Fletcher also recently popped up on the FOX comedy ‘The Mindy
Project’ where he joined fellow former UFC fighter Keith Jardine in
the episode.

#6: Georges St-Pierre in Captain America: The Winter
Soldier, Ronda Rousey in ‘Fast and the Furious 7’

So this is a bit of a cheat considering that neither of these
films have come out yet, but here’s why St-Pierre and Rousey enjoy
a slot so high on the list — both Captain America and the
Fast and Furious sequel are expected to make some very serious
money at the box office next year. The last Fast and the Furious
film raked in almost $800 million worldwide. Both fighters will
enjoy pretty sizable roles in the upcoming movies with St-Pierre
already completing his film while playing Captain America villain
Batroc the Leaper. Rousey is still filming her part in Fast and the
Furious 7, but expect both movies to be major hits in 2014 while
raising both fighters profiles during that time.

#5: Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller in Bully Beatdown

Say what you will about Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller these days but for
a couple of years he enjoyed some newfound success on MTV as the
host of the reality show ‘Bully Beatdown’ where he would find some
real life bullies and offer them a stack of cash to go up against
real MMA fighters as punishment for tormenting their friends,
co-workers or classmates. The show was a pretty big success while
it was airing and several high profile fighters appeared including
Jake Shields and Eddie Alvarez. The show was eventually cancelled
before Miller made one final run in the UFC before retiring from
the sport.

#4: Tank Abbott, Tito Ortiz and Bruce Buffer in
Friends

Outside of Seinfeld, there hasn’t been a more popular sitcom in
the last 20 years than the NBC hit show Friends, and in 1997 they
decided to turn Monica’s boyfriend Pete Becker (played by Iron Man
director Jon Favreau) into an ‘Ultimate Fighter’. The show was able
to use the Octagon, the arena and even Bruce Buffer during the
scene where Pete took on former UFC heavyweight Tank Abbott.
Needless to say things didn’t go well for Pete, but it was fun to
see Abbott along with his famous cornerman — future UFC
champion Tito Ortiz — smile for the cameras before handing
Favreau a beat down.

#3: Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in The A-Team

When Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was growing up one of his
favorite TV shows happened to be the action series ‘The A-Team’,
which starred former bouncer turned actor Mr. T in the role of B.A.
Baracus — a member of the Army special forces unit that was
wrongfully accused of a crime they didn’t commit, and they promptly
escaped from a military stockade to the Los Angeles underground
where they became soldiers of fortune. Following the success of the
TV show in the 80’s, 20th Century Fox decided to distribute a
remake of the show in movie form and Jackson was the perfect person
to play the new incarnation of BA Baracus. It was a dream come true
for Jackson to play the role, and even though it landed him on Dana
White’s bad side (the role conflicted with his scheduled fight
against Rashad Evans) he took it and ran. The movie saw very
limited success but no one can ever take it away from Rampage that
he got the chance to play BA Baracus on the big screen.

#2: Randy Couture in ‘The Expendables 1, 2 and
3’

Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy
Couture has dabbled in acting for years, but it wasn’t until his
fight career was almost over that he started to take some serious
roles. He got the call in 2009 to snag a part in an upcoming action
movie franchise called ‘The Expendables’ that would star veteran
actors like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke and
not only did Couture land the part in one movie — he got the
call back for two sequels as well! In the latest edition of The
Expendables (which just wrapped up filming) Couture actually
starred opposite UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda
Rousey.

#1: Chuck Liddell guest stars on ‘Entourage’

The list of guest stars on HBO’s popular series Entourage is
about a mile long. From Larry David to Peter Dinklage to James
Cameron — if you were an ‘A’ list celebrity during the time
this popular comedy was on the air, chances are you made an
appearance on the show. So it’s no surprise that the biggest UFC
star at the time got the call to film a guest spot on Entourage,
but as it turns out former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell
would end up landing a role that lasted an entire episode.

Liddell played himself in an elaborate hidden camera scenario to
get one over on Vincent Chase’s brother Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase. While
it’s not likely Liddell will be remembered for an Emmy award
winning performance, he was still pretty spot on playing himself
opposite some heavyweight actors on this series in one of the best
cameos to date. Liddell has also picked up some additional acting
roles in films like ‘Kick-Ass 2’, which was released in 2013.