Glenn Kulka has succeeded in junior hockey, professional football and pro wrestling. Now at the age of forty-five, he is attempting to add mixed martial arts fighting to his résumé.

Many sports fans will recognize Kulka’s name from his days as a defensive lineman in the Canadian Football League. He played for a number of CFL teams including the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1986 to 1995. After retiring from football, he enjoyed a brief stint in the WWE as a professional wrestler. His wrestling career ended in 2000.

Kulka’s turn to MMA fighter began innocently enough. “I knew a few of the guys involved in the sport and interviewed them for The Score television network. I wanted to get back into shape and started working out with some of the MMA guys.

“Also, I guess I just like to punch people.”

While training in mixed martial arts was new to Kulka, he had been a fan of the sport for a long time. “When I was in pro football, we used to watch martial arts tapes to practise how to get by offensive lineman. I started watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship when they held their pay-per-views fifteen years ago.”

Kulka’s mixed martial arts training would eventually lead to his first professional fight last July.

He handily defeated his opponent by TKO after just one minute and thirteen seconds.

As a person in his mid-forties, he is realistic about his long-term future in the sport.

“I know it sounds like a cliché, but I really am taking it one fight at a time. At my age, it would be crazy to have a ten-fight plan. I find the body does not recover as well and some of my old injuries from football and pro wrestling tend to flare up.”

He feels fighting as a heavyweight has helped him in the sport. “If I was fighting as a middleweight, guys like Georges St. Pierre would beat me handily. I find many of the guys in the heavyweight division are mainly good at taking a punch.”

Even though Kulka is one of the older participants in mixed martial arts fighting, his training regime could rival any fighter.

“I train six days a week. Twice per week, I focus on punching and striking. The other days I work on grappling and submissions.

“I find the motivation to train as a professional athlete whether that is football or hockey is transferable to any sport.”

Kulka faces Bob Landry this Saturday in Gatineau, Que.