Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an exciting sport. Every fight won pushes a fighter up on the ladder to the highest heights in their weight categories. The motivation to succeed is high among fighters, and many UFC fighters are never afraid to take on new challenges.
Most UFC fans only see the big fights on UFC fight night, but the journey to getting on that stage alone takes a lot of determination, courage, and hard work. These are the basic demands from any fighter who would succeed in the UFC octagon and their life’s journey.
While the bottom of the UFC ladder is crowded with many fighters trying to find their way up, the top of the UFC ladder is usually less crowded. Most UFC champions wait a long time before finding a worthy challenger for their titles. UFC predictions of their next fights may not come early for them. These fighters are always ready to take on the next challenge. Getting to the top of the UFC ladder may sometimes limit the frequency of challenges that come their way.
As a result, these fighters seek fresh challenges that will continue to feed their passion and skills. Many UFC fighters have always turned to professional wrestling for their next-level challenge. You probably do not know that some current professional wrestling champions started their journey with mixed martial arts.
UFC Fighters Who Turned to Wrestling
Brock Lesnar’s story is perhaps the most interesting story of any combat sports athlete that ventured into both wrestling and MMA. Lesnar started as a collegiate wrestling fighter who rose through the ranks and eventually got to the WWE. Lesnar quickly dominated the WWE scene, but in 2007, he ventured into MMA.
Lesnar began his MMA journey by winning a regional promotion. Still, he quickly shot to the top by becoming the UFC heavyweight champion after his third fight. Four years later, Brock Lesnar returned to WWE, but he was also quick to return to UFC. Lesnar’s professional wrestling and MMA story sets high standards for upcoming combat sports stars to emulate.
Ronda Rousey joined UFC after it acquired Strikeforce in 2011. Rousey’s UFC run was impressive, with 6 UFC Bantamweight championships up her sleeves. In 2017, Rousey signed with WWE. She has made history as one of the leading female fighters in Wrestlemania.
Ken Shamrock was one of the earliest UFC stars who ventured into professional wrestling. Shamrock was one of the biggest stars at the beginning of UFC. Still, he combined UFC fighting with professional wrestling in Japan and the WWE.
Shamrock excelled in the UFC and enjoyed rivalries against some of the biggest stars to grace the WWE cage. Shamrock’s time in combat fighting will never be forgotten.
The number of UFC fighters who take the step of transitioning into professional wrestling is very few. Professional wrestling may share a lot of similarities with MMA, but moving between both sports is not a challenge that both wrestlers and MMA fighters often embrace.
The few who have transitioned from MMA to professional wrestling have dared to do what many cannot do.