Creating an NBA starting 5 with MMA Fighters

Cole Henry MMATorch contributor

© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports Ed Mulholland © USA Today Sports)

With the NBA Finals starting this week I have decided to create the perfect NBA starting five, using only MMA fighters. This list doesn’t really have any rules, I’m pretty much just making it up as I go. I know very little about basketball, but I enjoy a good challenge so here it goes.

Center: Hong Man Choi (Unsigned, Last competed for ROAD FC)  

For starters, we will look at the center position. The center is often tall, and powerful, though in the current NBA it could be argued that the increase in perimeter shooting as changed this a bit. But for the sake of talking about him in an MMA related article in 2019, I’m going to go with an old school type of center for this game. Hong Man Choi is a legend, at least in a way. Techno Goliath as he is often called stands at a staggering 7’2 inches tall, and weighs in at nearly 360 pounds. He’s slow but powerful, and he’s going to be our starting center.

Power Forward: Francis Ngannou (UFC)

The power forward position is similar to the center in some sense, but often he is a better and more versatile scored. Enter Francis Ngannou. Ngannou is huge, powerful, and he can certainly score. Ngannou can knock you out from anywhere, as he has demonstrated on numerous occasions.

Small Forward: Georges St. Pierre (UFC/Retired)

The small forward is expected to do a little bit of everything. They are often high scorers, but the points come in a variety of ways, due to the SF being an asset everywhere on the court. Georges St Pierre had a fierce jab and generally good defense. He had great takedowns and dominant top control. He beat everybody that he ever faced, having avenged both of his career losses, he is as close to a perfect mixed martial artist as we have seen both in and out of the cage. A team with GSP on the squad would absolutely be in good hands.

Shooting Guard: Anderson Silva (UFC)

The shooting guard is often a good defender, long-range shooter, and ball handler. Michael Jordan, often considered the greatest player in NBA history, was a shooting guard. Anderson Silva had great defense, just ask Forest Griffin or Yushin Okami. He could pick you off from any range, but his most spectacular knockouts, such as his KO over Vitor Belfort, came from him fighting and landing at range. Finally, he was a master technician in the cage during his prime, and while some would argue that it was smoke and mirrors, it was certainly effective.

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Point Guard: Daniel Cormier (UFC)

Last but certainly not least we have the point guard. Points guards often run the court, and you will sometimes see them referred to as the “court general”. Daniel Cormier is a great fighter, but he is also a great wrestling coach and the team captain of American Kickboxing Academy. He will surely move to coach full time once he retires, but until then he will hope to defend his heavyweight championship, and he will also serve as a point guard on my 2019 ALL MMA-NBA TEAM

Thanks for reading. If you’re a Raptors fan, enjoy the Game 1 victory, I know that Drake will.

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