MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, is one of the most demanding sports nowadays. Without proper conditioning and techniques, an individual won’t make it far in this field. To be an MMA fighter, you need to be physically and mentally fit and possess various skills from almost every fighting discipline out there.
Professional Wrestling, staged as it is, has some of the best athletes in the world. No amount of heckling about how “fake” pro wrestling is can change the minds of spectators who know how hard wrestlers put so much work into their health and craft. Pro wrestlers are some of the best individuals that can try their hand at MMA.
In fact, pro wrestling greats such as Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley have already transitioned to MMA and back again to pro wrestling. Both guys have made it to MMA and have built a winning career there. Below are some of the best pro wrestlers that can or would have done well in MMA:
One of the brightest and most popular superstars in the WWE is Becky Lynch. Known for her fitness, work ethic, and ring smarts, Becky has the tools to have a good MMA run. Becky Lynch, real name Rebecca Quinn, shares her proud Irish roots with UFC odds favorite and MMA superstar Connor McGregor.
Becky Lynch is an MMA practitioner, and she does it at SBG Ireland. SBG Ireland has produced MMA greats such as Connor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson. John Kavanagh, the gym’s head coach, sees Becky’s potential when she decides to try MMA. This compliment is incredibly huge, especially coming from someone like Kavanagh, who has been training McGregor and other successful MMA champions throughout the years.
To have a successful career in MMA, you need to have a good background, such as freestyle wrestling. Kurt Angle is an example of an athlete who has the proper credentials. Winning an Olympic gold medal with a “broken freakin’ neck” is no exaggeration, as Kurt Angle indeed did it in the 1996 Olympics in freestyle wrestling.
Being a two-time NCAA Division 1 Champion in wrestling, the Olympian Angle had the right background for a promising MMA career. Although Angle is already 53 years old, he’s physically fit and still working for the WWE. Oh, what could have been if Angle tried out MMA.
Ziggler was a decorated amateur wrestler before the glitz and glamor of becoming a WWE superstar. Real name Nicholas Theodore Nemeth, Ziggler wrestled for Kent State University and became a 3-time Mid-American champion. At Kent State, he also became teammates with UFC fan-favorite Gray Maynard. With his tenacity and skillset, Ziggler would have no trouble taking on most MMA fighters.
More than just a pretty face, Eve Torres became one of the best divas in the WWE. Then, after a promising pro wrestling career, she called it quits to focus more on her personal life in 2013. MMA fans might have noticed by now, but for those who haven’t, she’s married to a Gracie.
Yes, that Gracie. Eve Torres is married to Rener Gracie, the grandson of grandmaster Hélio Gracie who created the famed Gracie Jiu-jitsu. The Gracies are great pioneers in the sport. Eve Torres has spent a good chunk of her life around Gracie Jiu-jitsu.
She has become a practitioner herself, becoming a spokesperson and instructor for the Gracie Women Empowered, a self-defense program designed for women. As a purple belt, Torres has the grappling skills that most female MMA fighters lack.
Aside from wrestling, another skill that an athlete should possess to have a blooming MMA career is striking. Stuart Alexander Bennett or more popularly known as Wade Barrett is a bare-knuckle champion from Liverpool. Think of Tyler Durden and Fight Club; those were the brawls and matches that Wade Barrett won in real life. Being a legit brawler, Wade could have made a career in MMA by easily knocking out his opponents.
Alberto Del Rio
In 2000, a masked pro wrestler named Dos Caras Jr. went into the ring and faced MMA great Mirko Cro Cop. Although that match ended brutally for Dos Caras Jr, he had amassed a 9-5 MMA record. Dos Caras Jr., as we all know, is Alberto Del Rio.
Alberto Del Rio is one of the few pro wrestlers with actual MMA experience. In his 9 MMA wins, most came from submission. If Del Rio had developed his striking more, he could go back to MMA and start all over again.
Following Brock Lesnar’s college dominance in wrestling, Shelton Benjamin also wrestled at the University of Minnesota, becoming a 2-time All-American. With his superior background in wrestling, he could have easily transitioned to the MMA game.
Although he lacks in the striking department, he could have easily adapted due to his freakish athleticism. However, instead of trying out for the Olympics, he chose to follow a career in professional wrestling. Today, he’s one of the most physically gifted athletes in the WWE.
Both MMA and Pro Wrestling require their athletes to have the best physical and mental conditioning. The pro wrestlers mentioned above are some of the best in the business. With the right skills, these wrestlers could have a promising MMA career.