Lists

25 Star Athletes Who Tried and Failed At Other Sports

Darren - March 23, 2020
Lists

25 Star Athletes Who Tried and Failed At Other Sports

Darren - March 23, 2020
Mandatory Credit: SB Nation

9. Emmanuel Yarborough

Yarborough made a name for himself on the sumo wrestling circuit. He has the Guinness World Record for the world’s heaviest athlete at a ludicrous 800 lbs. This behemoth gained fame as a world champion in amateur sumo. But then he decided to move into professional fighting.

Mandatory Credit: Youtube

The New Jersey native made his MMA debut at UFC 3 when he lost to Keith Hackney. He’d only fight twice more and ended his career with a record of 1-2. It turns out that being a giant doesn’t help you against people who can actually move around.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Jose Canseco

Canseco is one of baseball’s most controversial figures. After leaving MLB, he published a tell-all book revealing his own and others’ drug use. However, he decided to transition to MMA. Combat sports require dedication and a lot of skill. The Cuban-American ‘nunchaku expert’ decided he had that.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The self-proclaimed karate and taekwondo blackbelt fought South Korea’s Choi Hong Man at DREAM 9 in Yokohama. In short, it didn’t go well for him against the 7’2″ Choi. He lost by TKO in the first round. To sum up, that was the end of his fighting career.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Marion Jones

Jones was a massive star in her prime. A five-time Olympic gold medalist at the Sydney Games, she looked on track to be as famous as the likes of Michael Phelps today. However, it all came crashing down after she failed a drug test. Then a counterfeiting scandal sent her to jail.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

After this, her track career was over. But she was desperate to make the most of her athletic ability while she could. So she turned to basketball and joined WNBA squad Tulsa Shock. However, her numbers were below average. When Tulsa released her, it wasn’t a shock.

Mandatory Credit: Youtube

6. Tonya Harding

Harding’s career is one of the most dramatic in US sports history. A national champion in figure skating, she even made it to the Winter Olympics. But her career spiraled out of control because of the Nancy Kerrigan scandal. It all ended with a whimper.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Harding put on almost 20 pounds and became a professional boxer. She fought six times with a record of 3-3. However, after losing her last two fights she decided to hang up the gloves for good. It was a way to make a quick buck but her asthma ended her fighting career early.

Usain Bolt Olympics
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Usain Bolt

One of the greatest Olympians of all-time, Bolt is an eight-time gold medalist. He’s the greatest sprinter ever and has never been cited for PED use like most of his compatriots. An 11-time world champion, his celebration has also become iconic. But running isn’t his only passion.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

After his retirement, the Central Coast Mariners took the soccer-mad Bolt on trial. He scored two goals in a preseason game for the A-League side. However, after the Australian team offered him a contract he backed down. His fellow players were dismissive of his abilities saying it was all about marketing.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Paulie Malignaggi

Former IBF junior welterweight and WBO welterweight champion Malignaggi was never the best athlete. But he was a hard worker with a great chin. This helped ‘The Magic Man’ to the success he might not otherwise have enjoyed. However, he made an ill-fated move into the bare knuckle game.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Malignaggi fought Artem Lobov in a bare knuckle boxing match that saw him break his hand. The New Yorker fought the Russian after developing a grudge with Lobov’s teammate Conor McGregor. In the end, the fight underwhelmed as Malignaggi found out that taking the gloves off changes the game completely.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar is a freak of a human being. The WWE legend had crossover success with the UFC, becoming the MMA promotion’s heavyweight champion. With his massive frame and suffocating ability on the mat, he was a danger to everybody in front of him. But the former champ had less success on the playing field.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

His NFL career only lasted for one preseason with the Minnesota Vikings. In short, he was more famous for getting into petty fights than for anything else. While his physicality made him a handful in the wrestling and MMA world, he was just one of many in football.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

2. Michael Jordan

Arguably the most important athlete of the last 30 years, Jordan became a megastar with the Chicago Bulls. His achievements in the NBA are seemingly endless. Even off the court, he’s been a major success with his Air Jordan shoes after his playing days. But he did fall short in one aspect of his life.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Jordan decided he had enough of basketball and played for the Birmingham Barons in minor league laseball. The six-time NBA Finals MVP’s baseball stat line in one year was unimpressive: .202 AVG with 3 HR, 51 RBI, and 30 SB. In the end, he came back to the NBA.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Conor McGregor

The Irishman is one of the most famous combat sports athletes on the planet. First of all, he won the UFC featherweight title. Then he added the lightweight strap to his collection. This made him the first UFC fighter to hold two titles simultaneously. Suddenly he was the most high-profile MMA fighter ever.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But this wasn’t enough for ‘The Notorious.’ He went after a major payday in Floyd Mayweather. The pair finally fought in 2017 with a lot of attention on the crossover clash. In the end, Mayweather’s boxing prowess was just too much for McGregor. However, he did make nearly $100 million for the fight, so it wasn’t all bad.

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