10 Wrestlers Who Went to MMA
We’ve seen MMA and pro wrestling cross paths on several occasions, just look at Ronda Rousey for instance who was one of the most iconic women fights in the history of the UFC and then she made the leap to wrestling where she held several titles and is about to headline Wrestlemania next weekend. But that’s MMA fighters jumping to wrestling, today we’re talking about wrestlers who jumped to MMA.
10) Jack Gallagher
We start things off with Jack Gallagher - a cruiserweight wrestler who performs on 205 Live. Before he started wrestling for WWE, Jack Gallagher had 2 MMA fights under his real name, Jack Claffey and in his first fight, he submitted Stefan Cowley in the opening round with a guillotine choke. He also won his second fight against Cesar Valencia - Gallagher won this fight with an arm bar in late goings of the opening round.
9) Shayna Baszler
Technically, Shayna Baszler shouldn’t be on the list as she went from MMA to wrestling but we can let it slide. The Submission Magician has the record of 15 wins and 11 losses. Baszler has fought in the UFC twice and lost both of her fights. Shayna Baszler was also on the ultimate fighter and has even been defeated by Cris Cyborg.
8) Jack Swagger
Former money in the bank holder, Jack Swagger has recently moved to Bellator and made his Bellator debut back in January against J.W Kiser - Swagger who fights under the name, Jake Hager won in the opening round with an arm triangle choke. His next fight is in May against T.J Jones at Bellator 221.
7) Brock Lesnar
Did you know Brock Lesnar fought in the UFC? Yes, yes you did but we need to have him on the list to make us seem credible. Where do we start? Brock Lesnar has had 9 fights in his MMA career with Lesnar making his UFC debut in his second MMA fight and he lost against Frank Mir in his UFC debut by tapping out to a knee bar. He won his next couple of his fights and even became the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Brock Lesnar was already a big name as he won the 2003 royal rumble and he was a big name in both wrestling and football.
This one might shock you, who knew that one half of the authors of pain use to fight in MMA and was actually very good at it and even went 3-0 before suffering his first defeat against Ante Delija by getting TKO’ed in the first round. Rezar ended his career with a 6-2 record which is pretty damn good.
5) CM Punk
When CM Punk signed with the UFC, people didn’t know what to expect but they soon did when Mickey Gall made Punk submit 2 minutes in the opening round. He returned to the octagon 2 years later and lost by unanimous decision. Although he made waves in the WWE, his UFC run wasn’t as significant.
4) Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley was a beast in MMA, he went 5-0 before suffering his first defeat but quickly bounced back. His MMA record is 15-2 and that’s fantastic, his last fight was in October, 2016 and hasn’t fought since. Personally, I think he has one last fight in him in the cage but we’ll see if it happens or not.
3) Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is the only man to win the 40 man royal rumble, he’s a former WWE champion and world heavyweight champion. In 2001, Del Rio made his MMA debut by winning by TKO as Kengo Watanbe had a broken arm. Del Rio continued to have several fights and even fought Mirko Cro Cop but that didn’t last long as Cro Cop won in the first round with a head kick. He ended his MMA career with 9 wins and 5 losses, not too shabby.
2) Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura also fought in MMA. Nakamura only had 5 fights and he lost his first fight by submitting to an armbar. He won his next two fights and fell victim of a no contest but then he ended his career with a submission victory. As of writing, Nakamura is still wrestling with WWE and doesn’t have any plans to return to the cage.
Batista walks alone, he walks alone in this pit of danger. Batista has only had one MMA fight and it was at heavyweight, he defeated Vince Lucero by TKO in the first round and that was the only time we saw Batista step foot in the cage. Right now, he’s embarking to fight Triple H at Wrestlemania. We don’t know if Batista will ever return to MMA but if he does, then make way for the animal.