10 NBA Players Who Would Excel in UFC Octagon

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10 NBA Players Who Would Make Good MMA Fighters

Opening
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Have you ever imagined whether your favorite NBA player has what it takes to make it in the fighting business? What if LeBron James got into the octagon and took on the elite fighters in the UFC? With the proper training and preparation, could his supreme talents on the basketball court be transferred to MMA?

It is highly unlikely that we will ever find out the answers for the questions above, but it is still an amusing thought and an interesting discussion. NBA boasts some of the greatest athletes in the world and some of them could probably have been solid fighters had they made the decision to explore martial arts before embarking on their basketball careers.

Most players in the NBA would have a great reach advantage against stereotypical MMA fighters. Great athleticism is always a welcomed attribute among fighters and there are several players in the league who are just as explosive as any UFC fighter.

However, physical strength and power are not the only attributes that make a good fighter. You also need to be a little crazy. Not many people in the world have the guts and the mental toughness to step into the octagon and receive the inevitable punishment. Few are brave enough to take on the risk of getting knocked out at any point of a fight. However, the NBA has guys like that as well. Players who are constantly over-aggressive, force fights and draw flagrant fouls often fit the bill for what a fighter should be.

So which 10 NBA players are best fit for a hypothetical career in the MMA business? Continue reading to find out.

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Serge Ibaka

Ibaka
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Serge Ibaka truly has all the tools to be a good fighter. He is aggressive, is in absolutely amazing shape and is extremely athletic. He kind of reminds of a bigger Jon Jones.

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Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

There is a reason Tyler Hansbrough's nickname is "Psycho T". He just always has that scary look in his eyes everytime he steps on a basketball floor. He is big, strong and has just enough crazy in him.

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Andre Iguodala

Iggy
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Andre Iguodala is one of the most athletic guys in the league. He is 6' 6" and is very explosive. In the lockout-shortened season last year, Iguodala actually did some boxing while waiting for the season to start and he can definitely throw a punch.

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Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi
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Kawhi Leonard has a fighter's body. He is tall, but his most impressive feature is his freakish 7' 3"wingspan. He is lean and could easily maneuver around the octagon.

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Metta World Peace

Metta
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If his leading contribution in Malice at the Palace did not convince you that Metta World Peace was born to fight, he further proved himself by taking out James Harden with a TKO last year.

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Reggie Evans

Evans
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

He might not be a very talented basketball player, but Reggie Evans is one of the scariest guys to go up against on an NBA floor. Evans has grown up playing physical basketball and would make a great fighter. He still needs to work on that Kimbo Slice beard of his.

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Dwight Howard

Dwight
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Dwight Howard has lost a little bit of his athleticism after back surgery, but he is a unique specimen. I don't see many people who would want to take on Howard and his Optimus Prime shoulders in a fight.

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Kevin Garnett

Garnett
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Garnett is pretty old right now, but he is still eligible. He has a great reach and always plays with a lot of energy. Garnett is a great combination of work ethic, nastiness and willpower.

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Nikola Pekovic

Pek
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Just look at him. Nikola Pekovic is an absolute beast. I can already see Pekovic wearing the "Beast From The East" nickname with pride. The Serbian big man is scary.

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LeBron James

LeBron
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is not only the best basketball player on the planet, but also one of the best athletes in the world. His work ethic is second to none and there is no doubt that the 3-time NBA MVP could excel in just about any sport.


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