15 Athletes Who Failed At First
15. Michael Jordan
Jordan’s failure at other sport was not the usual one, pretty much as anything related to the greatest NBA player ever. Jordan turned to baseball in 1994 after he retired from basketball for the first time. The motive for doing so was to please his father who died that very year. His short baseball episode is regarded as a failure.
14. Marion Jones
Marion Jones was one of the highest-profile athletes to be stripped of her titles due to the BALCO scandal. Jones admitted the use of steroids, she was stripped of her three gold and two bronze medals won at the 2000 Olympics. She even did some prison time for that, and after years of being banned from the sport, she turned to WNBA, where she eventually retired.
13. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar was hopeful to become the NFL star prior to his engagement with WWE. Lesnar’s NFL career lasted for only one pre-season since he had the habit of getting into fights which ended up with a serious injury. As MMA, Lesnar even reached the UFC Champion title, but he had some serious issues with blows to the face.
12. Jerry Rice
The NFL record holder for the most receptions, touchdown receptions and yards for a wide receiver Jerry Rice, played the golf parallel to his career in NFL. At some point, Rice decided that he should go competitive and took part in French Express Classic. But, he obviously wasn’t cut out for a golfer, since he finished ranked #171 out of 172.
11. Chris Chelios
The player with fifth most NHL appearances made some really weird decisions regarding sport switching. Chris Chelios switched from hockey to Bobsled in 2004, in the middle of the NFL lockout. He joined the Greek team in the 2006 winter Olympics qualifications, but they never qualified. Still, Chelios appeared in those very Olympics, as captain of the U.S. ice hockey team.
10. Dwain Chambers
Dwain Chambers, the European 60 meters record holder and the fourth fastest European on 100 meters in history was banned from athletics for a doping scandal. Chambers tried himself out at other sports in order to continue his career as an athlete, but he failed terribly in his efforts to switch to football in NFL Europe.
9. Emmanuel Yarborough
The world’s heaviest athlete, weighing 270 kg, Emmanuel Yarborough is widely accepted as one of the greatest sumo wrestlers outside of Japan. He won the World Amateur Sumo Championship in 1995. Only a year before, Yarborough tried to compete in UFC. Out of the total of three fights, he was defeated in two!
8. Jimmy Bullard
The player who performed in the Premier League, Jimmy Bullard’s career was cut short due to the injuries he suffered. He then turned to the other sport he was passionate about – golf. He entered the qualifications for the PGA Euro Pro tour but failed miserably, and he never made another attempt regarding golf.
7. Justin Gatlin
The fifth-fastest sprinter in the recorded history, Justin Gatlin was banned from the athletics due to the doping on two separate occasions. His second ban was for four years, and Gatlin turned to the football – the sport he hasn’t been playing since the tenth grade. However, he didn’t manage to secure the contract with either Huston Texans or Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
6. Jose Canseco
Retired MLB star Jose Canseco, gave his best performances with Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. Canseco admitted the drug abuse In his autobiography published after his retirement. He turned to MMA in 2009, eight years after his retirement from baseball, on the premises of being the black belt holder in karate and taekwondo. He has humiliatingly swept away in the first round by Choi Hong.
5. Usain Bolt
Unlike most of the athletes mentioned in this list, Usain Bolt was never banned from the sport, nor was he accused of any misconduct, ever. However, Bolt wasn’t shy about his ambition to play soccer, particularly for Manchester United. Still, even though the vide of Bolt exhibiting his soccer skills was filmed; Sir Alex Ferguson never answered his outreach.
4. James Toney
The boxer who won he champion titles in three divisions, Former IBF middleweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight, James Toney had the extremely successful career as a boxer. In 2010 he tried to switch from boxing to MMA. His first opponent was the unpleasant Randy Couture – the MMA hall of fame member. After the duel, Toney never ever got near MMA again.
3. Manute Bol
Manute Bol is one of the tallest NBA players ever, and naturally, he was a very fine blocker. Other aspects of his game were, however, less successful – he actually made more blocks than points throughout his career, being the only NBA player ever to do so. With no intention to build a serious career, Bol performed in several other sports in order to raise charity. Those other sports included horseback riding, boxing, and infamous ice skating duel where he performed for the Indianapolis Ice – even though he couldn’t skate at all.
2. Kimbo Slice
Kimbo Slice had drawn the attention of many as the online sensation in the world of street fighting. He transferred from the unsanctioned fights to winning his first MMA fight. He was then offered the performance in The Ultimate Fighter, but in his debut fight, he failed miserably. He still fights in MMA due to the popularity he has, even though he never really learned how to fight by the rules.
1. Johnnie Morton
The worst failure regarding the sport switching is the one of Johnnie Morton. Morton had a successful career in NFL as a wide reliever of Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Francisco 49ers. After retirement, he decided to try himself out at MMA. Although he had won his debut fight, Morton was literally annihilated by Bernard Ackah in his second fight after only 38 seconds. Morton then refused to take the doping test, which led many to believe that he was run over in such a humiliating manner despite doping!