Top 5 UFC fighters who transitioned from WWE

The worlds of UFC and WWE, though distinct, share an intriguing crossover where athletes excel in both arenas of combat sports and entertainment. As WrestleMania 40 just passed, we take a look at the top 5 UFC fighters who have successfully transitioned from WWE.


Ronda Rousey has become a household name, transcending the Octagon to become a mainstream star. Often regarded as the face of women’s MMA, she dominated the UFC bantamweight division with an iron fist. During her reign from 2013-2015, Rousey held a record of five first-round finishes, three of which were achieved in less than a minute. Her aggressive fighting style and confident persona made her bouts can’t-miss events. Despite losing her belt to Holly Holm in a shocking upset at UFC 193, Rousey’s impact on the sport remains indelible.

Her aggressive fighting style and confident persona made her bouts can’t-miss events, frequently becoming highlights for UFC prelims bets.

Transitioning into WWE, Rousey made a splash with her debut at WrestleMania 34, quickly climbing the ranks with her natural athleticism and charisma. She headlined the WWE’s first all-women’s PPV, Evolution, solidifying her status as a trailblazer in sports entertainment. At WrestleMania 35, she starred in the first women’s match to headline the event, facing Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.


Before storming the UFC heavyweight division, Brock Lesnar built a formidable reputation in WWE. As a 4-time WWE champion, Lesnar’s athletic prowess was evident early on when he became the youngest person to win the WWE championship, defeating Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at just 25 years old. His transition into MMA was highly anticipated, and in 2008, he made his UFC debut.

Despite losing his first fight to Frank Mir, Lesnar showcased his resilience by winning his next four matches. His victory over Randy Couture in his third UFC fight earned him the heavyweight title, which he successfully defended three times. Notably, Lesnar avenged his debut loss to Mir at UFC 100.

After losing to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, Lesnar returned to WWE in 2012, where he made history by ending The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30. Although a brief return to the Octagon at UFC 200 resulted in a No Contest against Mark Hunt, Lesnar reaffirmed his dominance in WWE, capturing the Universal title. His storied career continues to captivate fans across both combat sports and sports entertainment.


Phillip Brooks, better known as CM Punk, was one of WWE’s standout stars over the past decade. Punk’s tenure in WWE was marked by his impressive reigns, including the 13th longest as WWE Champion and his distinction as a Triple Crown winner, holding all major titles the promotion had to offer. In 2014, Punk transitioned to the UFC, but his career in the Octagon was brief.

His debut at UFC 203 ended in a first-round submission loss to Mickey Gall. Later, he faced Mike Jackson at UFC 225, losing by unanimous decision. Punk has since served as a commentator for Cage Fury Championships on UFC Fight Pass.


Dan “The Beast” Severn is one of the true pioneers of the UFC, renowned for his exceptional wrestling and brute strength. Making his debut at UFC 4, Severn quickly became a force to be reckoned with, securing his first major win by claiming victory in the UFC 5 Tournament.

His dominance continued as he claimed the Superfight Championship by defeating Ken Shamrock, cementing his legacy in the sport’s early days. Outside the Octagon, Severn found immense success in professional wrestling. As a significant figure in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), he held the championship title twice, with his combined reigns lasting an impressive 1,479 days.

A Michigan native, Severn’s influence extends beyond his in-ring achievements, as he remains an enduring symbol of the grit and determination that define both MMA and professional wrestling. His career serves as an inspiration for fighters striving to excel in multiple arenas.


Ken Shamrock is a key figure in the early days of UFC, making a notable first appearance at UFC 1. Known as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” he won the UFC Superfight Championship at UFC 6, a title he held until UFC 9 when he faced Dan Severn.

Post-UFC, Shamrock transitioned to WWE with considerable fanfare, capturing the Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships in 1998. His wrestling career was marked by intense rivalries and memorable matches that bolstered his reputation in sports entertainment.

Shamrock returned to MMA and continued competing in the octagon for several years. His final UFC appearance was in the high-profile bout against Tito Ortiz at Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter.

Balancing combat sports and professional wrestling, Shamrock’s legacy is one of resilience and adaptability, inspiring fighters across both disciplines. His contributions have cemented his status as a legend in the UFC and WWE arenas.

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