From the Pentagon to the Cage: Army Ranger Continues MMA Run

By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity

We all have hobbies and side jobs, right?

One soldier who just happens to work for the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has a pretty badass one: he’s a successful mixed martial arts fighter.

Colton Smith, MMA fighter. Photo by Sgt. James K. McCann

Army Sgt. 1st Class Colton Smith is a decorated veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his 12 years of active duty, he’s earned the Ranger Tab and the Airborne and Air Assault badges, and he’s served as a master combatives instructor and congressional personal security escort.

A few years after he joined the Army, though, he decided to try MMA on the side as a welterweight. And he started to get good at it. His success has grown so much that in 2013, he was crowned the winner of season 16 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” a reality show MMA competition.

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Posted by Top Rated MMA on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Video: Colton Smith talks service, approach to training

So what made him get into this?

Smith, 30, grew up in Ankeny, Iowa, where he was a wrestling standout. He won high school state titles in Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling, and placed in Folk-style wrestling. Nowadays, he lives in Virginia with his wife and two sons, and he helps out with a youth wrestling program there.

Smith is the only soldier to ever fight in the UFC while on active duty, and he’s about to enter to the cage this weekend.

Smith in training. Photo by Sgt. James K. McCann

Smith will take on the undefeated Sean Brady in a Shogun Fights bout at 7 p.m. March 17 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. It’s going to be streamed on Flow. You can also visit CFFC.TV to get ordering information.

This isn’t Smith’s first fight. His record is 19-5 – 7-1 as an amateur and 12-4 as a professional.

Colton Smith in training. Photo by Sgt. James K. McCann

But it’s still pretty cool to know he’s going to represent the DoD once again.

Oh, and did I mention he’s also a black belt and instructor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? So maybe don’t get in his way if you run into him.

Good luck this weekend, Sergeant Smith!

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