We’ve seen a number of former NFL players come to MMA in the past few years — Herschel Walker, Matt Mitrione, Marcus Jones and more — but we haven’t seen a similar influx from the NHL.
Steve Bosse, a minor league hockey player has racked up an 8-1 record in Canadian MMA events. Bosse’s been the most high profile hockey player in MMA so far.
Now 39 year-old Donald Brashear — a retired NHL player and currently a player for the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH) — has signed with Canada’s Ringside promotion.
MMA Die Hards reports:
Former NHL tough guy Donald Brashear is taking his game to MMA after officially signing with the Canadian-based Ringside promotion, MMADieHards.com has learned.
Brashear is signed for one fight, but the contract could be for as many as three matches.
At this time, it remains to be seen whether or not the commission (Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux) will give Brashear his license, and as of Thursday, he had not yet applied for it. If Brashear applies and is licensed in time, he could fight as soon as Ringside 11 in Quebec City on June 4.
Ringside Report has more:
Brashear is enthusiastic about the opportunity to become a mixed martial arts fighter and could start train at Nordik Fight Club in Quebec. He (Champoux) hopes that the crossover from NHL Goon to MMA fighter will appeal to Quebec fans, similar to WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar and Boxing Champion James Toney joining the UFC and of course former LNAH hockey goon turned Quebec MMA star Steve Bosse.
From Brashear’s wikipedia entry:
…played for five organizations in the National Hockey League (NHL). His main role is that of an enforcer. He was considered one of the best, and most feared, in the NHL. His aggressive style of play has led to being among the league leaders in penalty minutes six times, while currently ranking 15th all-time in NHL history, and has resulted in multiple suspensions as well. He remains the Vancouver Canucks all-time single season leader in penalty minutes, which he set in the 1997-98 season. He was the victim of one most publicized incidents of on-ice violence in NHL history, when he was slashed in the head by Marty McSorley, during the 1999-2000 season.
Hockey is a particularly brutal sport and the only stick-and-ball sport that allows actual fighting in the context of games so it seems like a natural transition. Brashear himself is already 39 years old and has done no MMA training so he won’t be much more than a very athletic brawler. Of course in the talent-starved heavyweight division, Brashear could still make an impact at the regional level.
About the author