If I may be so bold as to offer a prediction: We should expect to see more bearded athletes in MMA, boxing, kickboxing and other fight sports. Why?
Writing for Integrative Organismal Biology: A Journal of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology on the Oxford Academic website, E.A. Beseris, S.E. Naleway and D.R. Carrier posit that human males might have evolved a propensity to grow facial hair because it protects them in personal combat. Specifically, the presence of a beard could reduce the amount of energy that is transferred when fist strikes face.