Fighters Favourites: Non-MMA Sport

While MMA may now be the main focus of these 11 athletes, there are other sports in which they have a strong tie to as well. Whether it’s a sport they played growing up, a hobby to help them unwind, or perhaps it’s a building block to further improve as a mixed martial artist.

Here’s a look at the favourite non-MMA sports of 11 MMA fighters from Alberta.

Lucas Neufeld lands a hard left on George Matechuck at Fight Night 6. (Joel Griffith)

Lucas Neufeld: Football

“I played most of my life and did want to pursue it, but my size is an obvious indication I wouldn’t go far. Thank goodness for fighting; I love it way more and it has weight classes.”

Lee Mein: Swimming

“It’s a great workout and it’s a life-skill that can save your life and others lives, so I feel it’s important, like martial arts.”

Connor Krebs: Football

“Just like MMA, everything matters. Seasons are short like MMA careers. If you lose three in a row and are out of the hunt, every game is do or die.”

Connor Krebs
Connor Krebs celebrates his victory at Rumble in the Cage 57. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

Mike Parsons: Hockey

“These guys are as tough as they come and I like the fast-paced action. Playoff hockey is great to watch, especially this year as my Bruins are looking great.”


Kyle Francotti: Reebok Crossfit Games

“It’s amazing to see all the hard work and dedication put in by these athletes. It reminds me a lot of the sacrifice and dedication involved with MMA.”

Justin Basra: Hockey

“Being born and raised in Canada, I grew up playing hockey and always watching it on TV. It’s all I did as a kid.”

Justin Basra, Randy Turner, Havoc FC 12
Justin Basra sinks in the winning rear-naked choke at Havoc FC 12. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

Alyssa Krahn: Wrestling

“I wrestled in high school and a bit in college. Wrestling is such a challenging sport, and makes you mentally tough.”

Wolfgang Janssen: Fly-Fishing

“I get to connect with nature and just be with myself and the water, not to mention possibly hooking into a beautiful brown trout, which is a thrill in itself. I just love to be outdoors, exploring the rivers with my fly-rod to see what I can find. I’m so at peace when I’m out there.

Nick LeBlanc: Soccer

“I’ve played it for many years. I have so much admiration for the agility and finesse involved with high-level soccer. My favourite team used to be Real Madrid.”

Nick LeBlanc
Nick LeBlanc in action at Rumble in the Cage 58. (Photo by Joel Griffith).

Colton Cronkite: Football (NFL)

“I grew up in Raymond, Alta., so the whole town revolves around football. So naturally, I grew up playing and loving the game.”

Nick Hrabec: Football (NFL)

“I’m a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan since I was a kid. I think football is just so vicious and competitive, just like MMA. I love the intensity and how a single play can determine the whole game.”