Why don’t we see many ex-Navy SEALs in MMA if they are as good as claimed?

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Most Navy SEALs train in a wide variety of martial arts. The SEALs are required to deal with enemies most effectively. Since they are given high-profile training, they are loosely compared with MMA fighters. Today we shall discuss reasons for ex-Navy SEALs’ rare participation in MMA fights.

The dearth of Ex-Navy in MMA

Despite the potential capacity to fight as an MMA fighter, ex-Navy SEALs rarely join in the combat sport. Because they spend their prime time as soldiers. When they retire just right after 60 years, they are already exhausted. A former Navy SEAL aged 60 cannot fight as a professional MMA fighter does.  

But when we mention Ex instead of Former, we understand the Navy SEALs are still young. Because they didn’t wait for sixty years to be retired from their jobs. They resigned from their jobs after serving a few years or maybe being sacked. So, here we are talking about Ex-Navy Seals who could join MMA fights to pursue a new career. They claim they are quite capable of fighting as MMA fighters. Still, an ex-Navy SEAL is reluctant to participate in MMA, because they have other sophisticated jobs. As they are highly trained they get high-profile security jobs, even they get jobs in the White House.

Lack of Focus on MMA Fight

The intention of creating the US Navy SEALs was a counter-attack measure at a time when the whole world was in the grip of World War II. 

The United States Military recognized the need for US Navy SEALs for the covert reconnaissance of landing beaches and coastal defences.

However, the Navy SEALs were established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  It is a nimble, elite maritime military force suited for all aspects of unconventional warfare. The soldiers are highly trained with the most sophisticated weapon along with traditional martial arts.  As soldiers, they focus on fighting with the enemies of the country they serve, unlike MMA fighters who focus only to compete with their opponent as a sport. MMA fighters practise all the arts to become professional fighters ever since they train. They build their careers as MMA fighters, nothing else.  An ex-Navy SEAL might have the capacity to fight an MMA fighter, but he is not meant to be a successful MMA artist. That’s why we don’t see many ex-Navy SEALs compete as MMA fighters.

US Ex-Navy SEALs Life

After retirement from US NAVY SEALs, most of the soldiers spend time basking in the glory. Some of them get high-paying jobs. Even some former flying officers get a chance at aviation jobs at private airlines. 

We do not see many ex-Navy fighting in MMA for reasons mostly unknown. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are not capable of fighting. Maybe because they do not feel like fighting anymore. The ex-Navy SEALs were one of the most respected commando forces in the world. They are often cited as the most elite, flexible and highly trained Naval Commando force. 

MMA is a sport, with rules and restrictions. The Navy Seals do not practise a sport. They are trained to face real-life situations. In a street fight, a Navy Seal would most probably win against an experienced MMA fighter as he is trained for life-or-death situations. It is like an act of Krav Maga. But professionally fighting within a ring is a different thing. There are rules for fighting to win the match.

Ex-Navy Seals in MMA

As long as we are talking about Navy SEALs who later fought in MMA, we do not have many of them. Those who tried MMA after retirement could not achieve any remarkable position yet. 

We can mention two of them: Brandon W.K. Wolff, born October 18, 1975, is an American Mixed Martial Artist and former Navy SEAL.  He is perhaps best known for his short period spent in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. “Killer Bee” is his nickname. 

We have another MMA fighter named Mitch Aguiar who is a 10-year Navy SEAL Veteran. He loves fighting though. He is a professional MMA fighter and an entrepreneur. Mitch joined the Navy in 2008. He trained in BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL) and graduated from it. Thus we see very few Ex-Navy Seals who are skilled have joined the MMA profession. Most of them are either enjoying retired life or engaged in well-suited jobs. 


US NAVY SEALs’ martial arts training, including fire weapons, is designed to use against designated enemies. They might claim they are as good as MMA fighters. But there are basic differences in terms of rules. With the diminishing energy after retirement, the ex-Navy SEALs are naturally not expected to join the MMA.  MMA is an extreme kind of combat sport. The fighters have to maintain strict discipline ever since they start training to compete in the ring.

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