Top 5 WWE Superstars Who Crossed Over to MMA

Check out the top WWE superstars who also tried their hands in the world of Mixed martial arts (MMA). The list contains some great WWE personalities.

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Pratham K Sharma
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Brock Lesnar (Source: Las Vegas Sun).jpg

Brock Lesnar (Source: Las Vegas Sun)

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BroThe worlds of WWE and mixed martial arts share an intriguing bond. Both activities require athletic prowess and skills. However, the main difference resides in genuineness. Wrestling features predetermined displays, whereas MMA showcases genuine confrontations. This hasn't prevented some brave WWE performers from striving to compete in the MMA arena, putting their talents to the test.

Here's a look at five wrestlers who made the jump from WWE to MMA:

1. Brock Lesnar: 

Brock Lesnar (Source: TSN)
Brock Lesnar (Source: TSN)

Brock Lesnar stands as one of the most successful wrestlers to enter the mixed martial arts arena. With an imposing physique and extreme power, he made his WWE debut in 2002, where he quickly rose to stardom. However, Lesnar felt the need to test himself in legitimate fighting sports. In 2006, he joined the UFC even though he didn’t have too much MMA experience. Defying expectations, Lesnar demonstrated natural fighting talents. He defeated MMA legend Randy Couture in 2008 to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion, earning the respect of both communities.

2. Ken Shamrock: 

(Source: MMA Fighting)
(Source: MMA Fighting)

Ken Shamrock is one of the first names that came up when the topic was about athletes, who competed in different sports. He did well as a wrestler in college and then found success in MMA. People quickly noticed his strong and tough fighting style. In 1997, the new UFC saw Shamrock's potential and invited him to join. Though he never won the UFC title, Shamrock's aura spirit helped show people that MMA was a real sport in its early days. Shamrock’s success in both worlds paved the way for future wrestlers to consider MMA too.

3. Cain Velasquez: 

(Source: Sportskeeda)
(Source: Sportskeeda)

Cain Velasquez was a big fan of WWE when he was younger. At first, Velasquez wanted to wrestle professionally. However, he started to like the competitive- nature of MMA fighting more. So, in his early twenties, he switched to MMA. He performed very well as a rookie and quickly moved up the ranks in the UFC. In 2010, he beat the seemingly unbeatable Brock Lesnar to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

4. CM Punk: 

(Source: Rolling Stone)

(Source: Rolling Stone)

CM Punk surprisingly made a jump to MMA in 2016. Despite success in WWE wrestling, Punk had little MMA experience. This lack of preparation proved costly. At 38, Punk entered the UFC against someone much younger and with more training. The fight was one-sided, ending in a first-round loss for Punk. While his MMA stint was not successful, Punk's courage in trying such a big career change earned respect from plenty of fans and pundits.

5.  Shayna Baszler:

(Source: Wrestlezone)
(Source: Wrestlezone)

Shayna Baszler carved her road to dominance in women's MMA. She was great at grappling and making others submit. Baszler won titles fighting for groups like Strikeforce and Cage Fury fighting championships. In 2017 Baszler joined WWE and became a frequent NXT women's Champion. Baszler's victories showcased the growing respect within

pro wrestling for true fighting abilities. She is still active in the arena and is eyeing another championship triumph.