A Look at MMA Fighters Who Also Enjoy Playing Poker

Mar 24, 2023
A. J. Riot

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and poker might seem like two very different worlds, but these two passions collide for some fighters. Many MMA fighters have been known to enjoy playing poker, and some have even become quite successful at it. You may ask yourself why these individuals engage in this intriguing card game. Well, poker’s mental and strategic aspects are similar to those required in MMA.

Both pursuits require high focus, discipline, and the ability to think quickly and make smart decisions under pressure. Additionally, poker offers a different challenge for fighters looking for a new way to test themselves outside the cage. Another reason MMA fighters might enjoy playing poker is the game’s social aspect. Poker is a great way to connect with other people and build relationships, which fighters may value highly given the individualistic nature of their sport.

Poker also allows fighters to compete against others in a less physically demanding way than MMA, making it fun to blow off steam and stay mentally sharp. To sign up with a credible poker site, interested martial artists and other individuals can check out reviews from www.top10pokersites.net to select a platform where they can play real money games. That said, this article will closely examine some MMA fighters who enjoy playing poker and explore why these two seemingly different pursuits have much in common.

5 MMA Fighters Who Also Enjoy Playing Poker

Athletes have a generally busy schedule, and at the top of their careers, they barely have time for other things. Despite their tight engagements, they still make time for a few activities, including poker. Here are five names from a long list of MMA fighters who enjoy the game of poker.

1. Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre, a retired UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, is regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. But away from martial arts, he is also a skilled poker player. He has participated in several high-stakes poker tournaments, winning one at the World Series of Poker. His success in the octagon and at the poker table requires a competitive mindset, strategic thinking, and the ability to read opponents, and he showed he had both due to his successes.

2. Randy Couture

Randy Couture, a former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion and UFC Hall of Fame inductee, is not only a legendary MMA fighter but also an avid poker player. Couture has participated in the World Series of Poker Main Event and described poker as a mental game that demands focus, strategy, and the ability to read opponents. His experience in both MMA and poker highlights the similarities between the two disciplines and the mental toughness required to succeed in both.

3. Dan Henderson

Dan Henderson, a retired MMA fighter who has competed in the UFC, PRIDE, and Strikeforce organizations, is not only known for his skills in the octagon but also as a big fan of poker. He has participated in various tournaments and events throughout his career, proving his talent as a poker player.

Henderson has described poker as a great way to pass the time and stay sharp mentally. The casino game requires a similar focus, strategy, and discipline as MMA, making it a natural pastime for the retired fighter. Henderson’s dedication to MMA and poker shows that these activities share a similar mentality and skill set.

4. Urijah Faber

Urijah Faber, a former WEC featherweight champion and UFC bantamweight contender, is another athlete who was successful in both MMA and poker. Faber has participated in multiple poker tournaments and has even played in the prestigious World Series of Poker Main Event.

His successes in MMA and poker demonstrate the similarities between the two fields, including the need for strategic thinking, discipline, and the ability to read opponents. Faber’s passion for poker extends beyond just playing; he has also been involved in charity poker events and has used his platform to promote the game and its benefits.

5. Fedor Emelianenko

As a retired MMA fighter who competed in PRIDE, Strikeforce, and Bellator, Fedor is widely recognized as one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in history. But aside from his achievements in the octagon, Emelianenko is also a passionate poker player. He has participated in numerous poker tournaments, showcasing his strategy, focus, and penchant for reading his opponents.


While MMA and poker seem like two very different pursuits, they have much in common. Many MMA fighters enjoy playing poker because it requires a similar level of mental and strategic discipline and offers a fun way to connect with others and test themselves outside the cage. This article has outlined some notable MMA fighters who have shown great interest in the card game and strengthened the claim that there are significant similarities in both areas.