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

target="_blank">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,

target="_blank">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

target="_blank">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

target="_blank">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

target="_blank">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

href="http://www.amazon.com/Got-Fight-Principles-Hand---Face/dp/0061721727/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383418047&sr=8-1&keywords=forrest+griffin"

target="_blank">‘Got Fight’ but his second book titled

href="http://www.amazon.com/Ready-When-Goes-Down-Apocalypse/dp/0061998265/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1383418047&sr=8-2&keywords=forrest+griffin"

target="_blank">‘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

target="_blank">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.