UFC prides itself on being “as real as it gets” and doesn’t script its matches like WWE. However, that hasn’t stopped the MMA promotion from being inspired by the pro-wrestling giant.
These days, of course, it’s arguable that the UFC is more successful than WWE worldwide – particularly when it comes to pay-per-view buys.
However, it’s also unarguable that the UFC would probably not be where it is today without inspiration from Vince McMahon’s promotion.
Here are five reasons why the UFC wouldn’t be the same without WWE.
#5. The UFC’s outlandish personalities are inspired directly by those of WWE
The world of WWE has always been built on the back of the promotion’s outlandish, outspoken personalities.
While it’s important for a wrestler to be able to work inside the ring, WWE’s biggest stars – names like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena – all reached the highest levels of stardom due to their personalities and abilities on the microphone.
The UFC is slightly different in that to succeed in the promotion, you’ve got to have some high-level fighting abilities at least. But at the highest level – just like in WWE – to become a money-drawing megastar it’s all about whether you’ve got a larger-than-life persona.
The biggest stars in UFC history – names like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Ken Shamrock – all drew the fans in with their ability to talk a good game and act like huge stars.
Even less outlandish stars like Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva were simply playing WWE-style good guys. They did some of their best work alongside seemingly villainous foils like Nick Diaz and Chael Sonnen.
The UFC obviously doesn’t create quite as wild characters as WWE does – you won’t see any UFC fights taking place under red lighting, for instance.
Dana White and his crew clearly understand that to become a star with the fans, a fighter needs to have a lot of personality and ability on the microphone. This is a lesson that the UFC has learned directly from WWE.