Professional wrestling and MMA are one in the same – Brock Lesnar told me so.
During a televised interview a few years ago, the current WWE Universal Champion claimed that what WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and UFC President Dana White are promoting is essentially the same thing. Don’t think Brock’s been working himself up into a shoot for the best part of the last 18 years inside the squared circle though, brother, because he does use the dreaded F-word while describing the grappletons. What Brock meant by this is that in his mind, Vinnie and Dana are both promoting fights and using the same business model while they do so. WWE presents their battles as though they are real, while those in the Octagon actually are – that’s the only real difference.
Because of this, many wrestlers who’ve entertained us down the years have found themselves doing a spot of MMA on occasion with Lesnar himself the most famous example, conquering both worlds on the way to winning world titles galore.
I often think that professional wrestlers are wired differently to the majority of us. Being up close to a ring and seeing what these nutters put their bodies through in the name of entertainment boggles my mind. It should come as no surprise then that many decide to go one step further in the pain game and ‘shoot’ fight for money – here are 10 that have done so.
(There’s obviously hundreds more but these are the 10 I found the most interesting.)
Yes, this is a real thing. Before Rezar became a lover of writing and pain in equal measure, he fought inside cages for a living.
Don’t think the former NXT Tag Team Champion was any kind of joke and then fell back on a comfortable spot in the Performance Center when things went wrong – he went 6-2 in his pro and amateur career over a two-year spell. This run included an impressive 18-second submission win over UFC veteran Oli Thompson (above) and a fight in Bellator MMA where he lost to Daniel Gallemore in 2014.
There’s no doubt upon realising his credentials that certain members of the NXT roster will be looking at Rezar in a completely different light.