Mark Rebilas for ESPN.com
Michael Westbrook is a lover, not a fighter. But he has been known to make exceptions. …
Ambition is great. Getting your arm broken in two places while your face gets crammed against the fence of a cage? Not so great.
In honor of Dream-er Jose Canseco (credibility: 1965-2009), who was pummeled Tuesday in an inexplicable fight against Korean giant Hong Man Choi, we've got our attention trained on former mainstream athletes who made the switch to major-league punching.
Michael Westbrook (1-1)
Affiliation: Wide receiver, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals
Résumé: Westbrook, who fought fellow NFL vet Jarrod Bunch in 2005, recently earned his brown belt in jiu-jitsu. He says he prefers grappling over MMA because he has "never gotten a good feeling" from hitting someone. Funny, because in his most infamous NFL moment he did exactly that, pounding prone teammate Stephen Davis in 1997.
Bench him? Westbrook doesn't like striking. That's benching yourself.
Carlton Haselrig (3-1)
Affiliation: Offensive guard, Pittsburgh Steelers
Résumé: For combat purposes, Haselrig is the best of any former ball player. He is the only six-time NCAA wrestling champion in history, and he signed with the Steelers after having played no college football. That's a bad man.
Bench him? Unfortunately, yes: Haselrig is 43, which amounts to a pretty limited window of opportunity for his combat career.