How and why MMA fighters are a natural fit to go into wrestling

How and why MMA fighters are a natural fit to go into wrestling

To excel in wrestling there are various factors that you need to have as an athlete. Strength, speed and an array of skills in both striking and defense are what makes a wrestler a champion.

Most wrestling fans want to see action; competitive battles are what they adore the sport for. It is no secret that most of the wrestlers have a long tradition in sports that comprises of fighting and opponent challenging. One of the recurring themes is that the fighters from MMA enjoy a streak of wins in the wrestling arena. You can learn more about MMA fighting techniques at Punch Prime. In this article, we will focus on a few of dominant wrestlers with a past in MMA.

Rhonda Rousey

At 33 years of age, she has enjoyed a successful career in MMA, Judo and wrestling. She rose into the limelight as the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo where she earned a bronze medal in 2008 summer Olympics. She then pursued a career in mixed martial arts where she also won an MMA debut as the king of the cage. She then proceeded to strike force where she became the last champion before it was acquired by UFC in 2011. She took part in the inaugurals as the first female champion where she defended her title and went ahead to set a record of the most UFC title defences

She signed a contract with WWE in 2018 where she has continuously won and defended her title. This is a proof that having a foundation in other fighting sports is a recipe for success in wrestling.

Shayna Baszler

At the age of 39, the outspoken American professional wrestler signed to WWE, performing under RAW. Before becoming a professional wrestler, Shayna trained in MMA under the guidance of Josh Barnett, a former UFC fighter as well as catch wrestling under the directives of Billy Robinson. Her signature hammerlock submission move has gained her great success as she has used it in leading her opponents to submission.

Baszler wrestling career has had its losses but also enjoys notable successes, such as the Premier Women’s Champion at premier XII in 2016.

Matt Riddle

Mathew Fredrick Riddle, 34 years, attributes his commencement in the domination sport from training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the evening after his day job as a roofer. He became a professional MMA fighter between the years 2008 to 2014. He became a force to reckon with by winning a four-fight streak in UFC. His successful 8-3-2 in MMA fights came to an end after he was fired for testing positive for Marijuana.

He began training for a career in professional wrestling in 2014 and made his first appearance in February 2015. His first win came in July 2015 where he won the Monster Factory Heavyweight Championship. After his first win, he has continued to have a successful career as a professional fighter signing major deals and contracts.


It is therefore certain that having a background in MMA catapults one in integrating in the wrestling system.

Here are some of the 3 main reasons why this is so:

  1. Arsenal of techniques- As these wrestlers participated in MMA and UFC in their earlier years, it is evident that they accumulated skills that become their trademark. This comes in handy when it comes to dominating opponents in wrestling later. Physical strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training forms a basis for endurance hence making them good fighters even in wrestling.
  2. Developing formidable toughness and endurance- When it comes to fighting sports, the player’s endurance is tested to the limit and therefore a player needs to develop an ultimate endurance technique to help them last up to the end of the match. By these players participating in MMA contests, they learn to push themselves to the limit which is needed in wrestling competitions too.
  3. Experience in fighting sports – It is easier to find MMA incorporated in co-curricular activities in the education system as well as in the Olympics. Opportunities created by these competitions ensures that the players start very young, creating an array of scenarios and the right-thinking mindset to win any challenge.