Athletes transitioning from one sport to another can be quite common – if you’re an elite athlete succeeding in one field, you typically have what it takes to compete in another, but some crossovers do seem a little strange at first. The WWE and the UFC are certainly one of these – WWE stars are entertainers and athletes working to a pre-determined result with improv throughout, and whilst they certainly have the talent and physique, many may not be great fighters. Similarly, UFC athletes are at the top of their craft in combat sports, whilst putting on a show is part of their work, winning the fight is up to their ability instead, but some have been able to make the transition – in fact some of the stars who have made the adjustment have went on to be the big favourites for the respective organisation, and when looking at punter figures with a site list here for sites, it’s easy to see why many have been so successful – but who are the ups and the downs of this crossover?
Brock Lesnar – Brock had been one of the first athletes to make a transition between the two sports and was quite successful in doing so – ignoring his bouts with USADA and the mandatory drug testing required for UFC athletes, Brock was able to compete in the heavyweight division at a time of huge competition whilst also maintaining his champ status in WWE too – a lot of plates to spin, but he was able to be a huge star in both sports simultaneously with a reel of highlights and clips behind him.
Ronda Rousey – The woman who popularised women’s MMA in a bigger way than any before may not have been the greatest in the sport, but her persona and attitude put the women’s divisions on the map and have led to some of the great shows we’ve seen today – fortunately for fans, her losses in the UFC didn’t remove her from the public eye as she had successfully been able to transition to WWE and to Hollywood and show what a great entertainer she is.
CM Punk – Not everyone making this list is an elite level fighter, and whilst a fan favourite during his time at WWE and a notable figure in the sport for a long time, his adjustment to the UFC wasn’t so successful. He was able to take part in a couple of entry level fights for the promotion, but it seemed all his talent was left in the WWE ring as it seems he may never fight in the UFC again – it certainly did bring some fans across, however.
As a lot more UFC fighters are taking on a more entertainer persona, it may not be long before we see those unable to remain competitive in the combat sports world make the change, but with the UFC gaining so much popularity too the opposite may also ring true as more wrestlers want to test their chops in the octagon – it’s an ambitious crossover, but it’s certainly fun.