MMAFighting.com is reporting that former longtime New England Patriots’ offensive lineman Stephen Neal could join the growing trend of former NFLers turning to Mixed Martial Arts as a profession.
Being 33 years old and having been plagued by injuries throughout his NFL career, it may seem like Neal’s chances at making a new home in the UFC are slim, but he would have more going for him than many other former pro-football players have had when converting to MMA. He is a former two time NCAA wrestling champion with an overall wrestling record of 151-10 and he was also the winner of amateur wrestling’s Heismann Trophy, The Dan Hodge Award.
Neal’s agent, Neil Cornrich, had this to say about the free agent’s future: “He’s excited to continue in the NFL and perhaps after that take a chance at the UFC. Getting back involved in Olympic-style wrestling is definitely a consideration.”
Did I mention that Neal holds a wrestling victory over current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar? Neal defeated Lesnar in the NCAA heavyweight finals in 1999; a fact that would certainly boost his chances at making it into the UFC.