The Warrior Beat

Trading places

June 14th, 2014


Former UH linebacker Aaron Brown makes his pro MMA debut tonight in  a fight in Mesa, Ariz.

Brown, who was the St. Louis Rams' seventh-round pick in 2012, said he has retired from football and is "all in" in MMA. He has been training since January in Gilbert, Ariz., and won his lone amateur fight in under 40 seconds. He will fight Casey Greene at 205 pounds tonight, with the goal of competing at 185 pounds eventually.

There are other former Warriors who have changed career paths, such as:

> As an undrafted free agent, safety Leonard Peters had several tryouts in the NFL. He eventually left that sport to compete in rugby. He now works as a stevedore.

> After a brief stay with the Miami Dolphins, left tackle Tala Esera moved on to a career in rugby.

> Defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu missed out on a free-agent invitation in 2012 while recovering from shoulder surgery. After that, he had a successful run as an amateur MMA fighter on Maui cards. Tuipulotu has returned to football, signing  with the Asahi Soft Drink Challengers of Japan's X League.

> The "Honey Bear" — Jake Heun, a former UH fullback/rush end — is now a full-time MMA fighter who competes on the World Series of Fighting circuit.


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