Even though several pro wrestlers and MMA fighters may transition from one sport to the other, very few have ever done it all that successfully. Sure, they make the switch with the best intentions of making it big, but how often do you read the MMA news &rumors about reputable fighters doing well in wrestling or MMA and take it as fact? In most cases, and as you’ll find out by reading wrestling news stories, it doesn’t end up all that well.
However, that’s not to say the attempts made by many haven’t almost been a success. Some even were. Below, you can read about some of the pro wrestlers who have attempted MMA.
Kazushi Sakuraba – The Gracie Hunter
Kazushi Sakuraba is an unorthodox pro wrestler whose career spanned from 1993 until 2016. Kazushi featured highly in wrestling news for his unique catch wrestling style as well as how realistic it looked. Even though pro wrestling came with a script, Kazushi made it look real. A transition to MMA was only natural, and those MMA rumorsbecame a reality at his debut into the sport in 1996.
In his debut, he lost to KimoLeopoldo but was able to win four fights in a seven-fight stretch to earn him his nickname of The Gracie Hunter.
Bobby Lashley has appeared in more recent wrestling news, especially as he had relative successes in both pro wrestling and MMA. However, if the MMA rumors are right, it won’t be all that easy to get back into WWE when he’s ready due to changes in MMA rules.
Bobby began pro wrestling in 2004, making a switch to MMA in 2008. He enjoyed a successful MMA career before returning to pro wrestling. His MMA record to date is 15-2, making him a real success in both sports.
Paulo Cesar da Silva – Giant Silva
Paulo Cesar da Silva, also known as Giant Silva, is well known as a pro wrestler who attempted MMA. However, he is known for all the wrong reasons – as you can read all about in wrestling news. The MMA rumors are true – Paulo wasn’t all that good. He began his pro wrestling career in 1998 before debuting in MMA in 2003. By this stage, he had competed in over 70 pro wrestling matches.
Because Paulo weighed around 400 pounds and stood at over seven feet, he didn’t have all that good of a run in MMA – which is drastically different from the theater and scripts of pro wrestling. He became more of a roadblock than a competitive fighter.
Tony Halme – LudvigBorga
Believe it or not, there could be a worse transition to MMA from pro wrestling than Paulo Cesar da Silva. Tony Halme, called LudvigBorga, had an even worse record. Tony featured in the pro wrestling scene from 1990 until 1997, debuting in MMA in 1995. He stars in wrestling news for all the wrong reasons – being that he didn’t win a single pro fight.
However, he gains back a bit of dignity by being the first Finnish fighter in the UFC and also formed part of the Finnish parliament. Unfortunately, Tony Halme died at the age of 47 back in 2010.
Dave Bautista – Batista of Evolution
If you want to see a successful pro wrestler who made it to the big time in MMA, then take a look at Dave Bautista. Known as Batista of Evolution, Dave often featured in wrestling news due to his multiple championship runs and wins. His stature and fitness proved to be an asset, and he made a natural move into MMA in 2012, signing a contract with Classic Entertainment & Sports.
There were MMA rumors about extensive training to prepare for MMA, and these were true. He earned a purple belt in jiu-jitsu and had help from Cesar Gracie. Dave Bautista is an excellent example of a pro wrestler who made a successful switch to MMA.
It’s far easier to switch from MMA to pro wrestling than it is to go from pro wrestling to MMA. After all, as you’ll see in wrestling news, much of it follows a script and there’s not a lot of real fighting involved. Therefore, every time a well-known pro wrestler tries their hand at MMA, it’s always interesting to see how it all plays out!