As much as people would like to think they could compete in mixed martial arts, potentially at a significant level, 99 percent of the population cannot. It is a sport reserved for a few truly talented individuals and while fighters can “wing it” to a certain degree in the early stages of an MMA career, it will never last.
Five professional wrestlers, who decided to give MMA a try, learned this the hard way, according to Fox Sports.
It is not like Fox Sports is suggesting they were outright failures – far from it. They admire these men for putting everything on the line and testing themselves, and that is more than can be said for some other professional wrestlers out there.
The article by Fox Sports was not a plea for the pro wrestlers to stay with their day job, it is simply a reminder that not everyone can become a UFC champion, or even compete anywhere near that level.
It is safe to say that people were apprehensive of the prospect of CM Punk transitioning into MMA, and people were even more concerned when they learned that he would be jumping right into the Ultimate Fighting Championship. After two decisive losses to Mickey Gall and Mike Jackson, it would seem that the critics were correct.
Alberto Del Rio did not have a terrible run in MMA, and he is even considering returning to the sport in 2019. However, it is worth mentioning that when he went up against one of the best, Mirko Cro Cop, he was no match for the Croatian and wound up losing due to an emphatic head kick.
The late Sean O’Haire was a huge “what if” of professional wrestling and it turns out he did not just compete in the squared circle. O’Haire had a 4-2 MMA record which is not bad, although one of his losses was. He went toe-to-toe against Butterbean in Pride, who has a history of fighting professional wrestlers and his quick knockout loss confirmed that it was probably not the best idea.
Steve Williams has a solid amateur wrestling background, but that was not going to be enough to protect him from the savage knees of Alexey Ignashov. Williams did his best, but he could not quite hang with the Bulgarian who has only had two other MMA fights in his career – both of which came against pro wrestler Shinsuke Nakamura.
Bam Bam Bigelow is an intimidating wrestler and it does not seem like anyone would disagree with that assessment. Regardless, it is safe to say that Bigelow was out of his depth when he went up against Kimo, who managed to submit him in the first round.
At least it was quick, and thankfully, Bigelow did not decide to test the MMA waters again after that night in 1996.
By Jeanette Smith
Fox Sports: 5 WWE stars who tried MMA and experienced failure
Image by Mandy Coombes Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons License