Pro Wrestlers in MMA

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                                Pro Wrestlers in MMA

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From entertainment to fighting: 9 pro wrestlers who impacted MMA

MMA has a history of taking talent from pro wrestling's ranks, going back at least to the turn of the 20th century, when pro wrestling matches weren't fixed. In modern times -- that is, the last 20 years or so — the two have chiefly intertwined in Japan, whose MMA industry was born from pro wrestlers' desires to prove themselves in a competitive setting.

In the wake of Lesnar's victory at UFC 100 to become the Ultimate Fighting Championship's undisputed heavyweight titleholder, let's look nine of his noteworthy predecessors. Note that the list excludes athletes who reached pro wrestling's major circuits only after they started fighting — thus, no Josh Barnett, Don Frye or Ron Waterman.

1. Kazushi Sakuraba
2. Ken Shamrock
3. Masakatsu Funaki
4. Akira Maeda
5. Dan Severn
6. Kiyoshi Tamura
7. Kazuyuki Fujita
8. Nobuhiko Takada
9. Antonio Inoki


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There were a few others

Minoru Suzuki
Yoji Anjoh
Jerry Flynn
Tony Halm (Ludwig Borga)
some black guy that smashed the crap out of Yuki Nakai before getting subbed.

Couple others

 Don Frye wrestled Inoki in Inoki's retirement match. That's pretty f'n huge. Should also mention Ogawa since Ogawa vs Yoshida is in the top 3 highest rated MMA fights of all time.

Puroresu guys in non-worked fights

Yuji Nagata lost to Fedor and Crocop
Jusin Liger lost to Suzuki
Dos Caros Jr. lost to Crocop
Alexander Otuka beat Ruas lost to others
Bam Bam Bigalow lost to Sakuraba
Hawtness lost to Don Frye in a awesome battle

Just off the top of my head.

Also many of the UWFi guys tested themselves in the non-worked bouts early in Pride.

It should also be noted that among Otsuka's epic battles was a great, very competitive fight with the axe murderer one fateful night AFTER WRESTLING A HUGE WORKED MATCH THE SAME DAY.

I loved him. I remember a great member of this board who went by Otsukafan, who was sadly banned due to being a friend of OMA. Rumours are he has resurfaced with another name.

 I'm glad to count UG News among the enlightened.



Several luchadors have fought MMA, too.  Canek has a win in DEEP and has bodyslammed Andre The Giant.

Kimo and Vader in Japan as well.

Im pretty sure Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn pro wrestling major circuits after they started fighting, and if anything, were brought into pro wrestling because of their previous MMA experiences.

I think that it should be noted that most of the pro wrestlers that made it big in MMA were usually mid-carders in their pro wrestling careers eg. Sakuraba. Inoki and Lesnar are the among the few that were main eventers in prowrestling.

Biggy - Im pretty sure Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn pro wrestling major circuits after they started fighting, and if anything, were brought into pro wrestling because of their previous MMA experiences.



I know Shammy was "Mr. Wrestling" Vince Torelli before he started MMA.  Dan Severn, I'm not sure... he was NWA champion in 1995, anyway...

okiebug - Puroresu guys in non-worked fights

Yuji Nagata lost to Fedor and Crocop
Jusin Liger lost to Suzuki
Dos Caros Jr. lost to Crocop
Alexander Otuka beat Ruas lost to others
Bam Bam Bigalow lost to Sakuraba
Hawtness lost to Don Frye in a awesome battle

Just off the top of my head.

Also many of the UWFi guys tested themselves in the non-worked bouts early in Pride.


Bigalow lost to Kimo.
Sean O'haire lost to Min Soo Kim

thats what dudes who could whoop ass but couldnt box at a championship level did back in the day. Shoot fighting (precursor to NHB MMA) comes from a match being a "shoot" instead of a "work" and dudes that could really fight were called "hookers" Roddy Piper was one of the last ones supposedly but the Steiner Brothers were college all americans and supposed to be able to put a hurtin on you for real. Harley Race was also supposed to be "real". Bret Harts dad was one who did subbmission grappling in the 60's but they called it stretching and Verne Gagne's old alzheimers ass just killed somebody that was buggin him in the retirement home he lives in.Pro wrestling was full of guys like that through the 80's until the Hulkster came around and made it about the physical look as opposed to being a badass that could "work" a match.

homegrowncone -Yeah you're right about Kimo/Bigalow. That was on a kingdom card. I always forget because I think that's the same promotion where Kimo fought Sak.

Biggy- Sak was always a mid-carder before MMA.

Actually ron waterman was in wwe for a couple of months with Brock lesnar

ttt

"Biggy- Sak was always a mid-carder before MMA."

Thats what I just said.

 Ken Shamrock and who?

Wasn't Severn the NWA champ and brought the belt out for UFC 4?

Ken Shamrock was a pro wrester BEFORE UFC 1?
Or is the list wrong?

what about Barnett? Was he ever popular in japan pro wrestling?

List is completely flawed,
Ken Shamrock was not a pro wrestler before MMA,
He fought in Pancrase, and everybody counts Bas Rutten's pancrase fights from way back when as MMA fights, so why not Ken Shamrock's? Double standards don't work.
Either way, after that it was the UFC.

Dan Severn
Wrestled professionally after MMA.