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Wrestlers and MMA Fighters who moved from one sport to another



The following guest post comes to us via Anabel Cooper

Professional wrestling and mixed martial arts have a lot in common, so it is easy to understand why some of the sportsmen transitioned from one sport to the other over the years. While some of them realized the skills they developed could help them achieve bigger performances in a different fighting sport, others just wanted to find out what it’s like to be on the other side. Some of these decisions lead to big successes, while others didn’t really get MMA fighters or wrestlers where they wanted. Here are the most important transitions between MMA and wrestling:

Brock Lesnar – From Wrestling To Football And MMA

Lesnar is definitely a legend in both sports, as he is the only man who holds both a WWE world title and a UFC title. After great performances as a junior wrestler, Brock Lesnar signed with WWE in 2002 and it only took him a few months to become the youngest ever WWE world champion. Even though he had a prolific career, Lesnar decided to leave wrestling and join a football team. His performances as a football player were far from what he expected, so he moved to MMA where he became heavyweight champion. Lesnar then returned to WWE but he was still allowed to get involved in UFC matches from time to time.

CM Punk – From Indie Wrestling To UFC

CM Punk made a good impression as a wrestler in indie competitions, drawing the attention of the WWE scouts who offered him a contract. He made his debut in ECW before moving to the main competition where he won five world titles. In 2014, he signed a contract with UFC and he only had one fight two years later, which he lost.

Bobby Lashley – Soldier, Wrestler, And MMA Fighter

Between his career as an amateur wrestler and his WWE contract, Bobby Lashley took a three-year break during which he enlisted in the US Army. He then became an ECW champion two times and even won a special game at Wrestlemania 23 which determined Vince McMahon to shave his head. After his contract with WWE expired, Lashley went on to pursue a fighting career in UFC while still getting involved in pro wrestling matches outside WWE.

Josh Barnett – A Big Fighting Passionate

Josh Barnett couldn’t miss from the list of sportsmen who transitioned from one sport to another, as he tried lots of activities before he decided what he really wants to do. He tried his luck with the following sports:

  • Judo
  • Kickboxing
  • MMA
  • Wrestling

Barnett started as a judo and kickboxing player at a young age and he became the youngest UFC heavyweight champion at the age of 24. After he failed a drug test, Josh headed to Japan where he got involved in MMA matches and professional wrestling. He continued to evolve both for MMA and pro wrestling and he even got a commentary job for NJPW broadcasts.

Whether they had successful results or not, these sportsmen had the courage to do what they liked in life, so they must be appreciated for the efforts they made. Some of them broke important records, while others proved they can adapt in almost every sport, even though they didn’t become champions.

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