5 Reasons why pro wrestlers can transition to MMA but not other way round

Just ask these guys what the differences are
Harry Kettle

One of the things we've covered a lot on the MMA section is Superstars and fighters who have transitioned between professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. As we all know some have been more successful than others, but a lot of the time it isn't about the end result - it's about the journey that it takes to get there and how much the person involved applies themselves to their new craft.

But over the years we've noticed a pattern begin to develop that shows pro-wrestlers tend to find things a lot easier than MMA fighters when it comes to crossing over to the other side - kind of like a much more physical version of wife swap. There's not necessarily one key aspect that singles out why that occurs either, as it's quite a multi-layered issue.

This is in no way intended to insult mixed martial artists who fancy trying pro-wrestling either, as we're instead just observing some of the problems that people face. Plus, the higher up you are on the ladder when it comes to the sport, the more likely you are to fall all the way back down to the bottom when the realisation of how hard the wrestling industry is, hits you.

With that being said, here are five reasons why pro wrestlers can transition to MMA but not the other way round.

#1 Endurance

We’d like to see MMA fighters try and do an ironman match

When you're a mixed martial artist you have to train as hard as you possibly can for between one and four fights a year at the most. Those fights usually last between 15 and 25 minutes with a few short breaks in between, with the non-stop action likely causing a lot of physical exhaustion.

However, that doesn't even remotely compare to the schedule that pro wrestlers have to deal with.

Those guys regularly put on 10-15 minutes three or four times a week and it's not like they're practising out there - they'll be in front of thousands of screaming fans during every single one of their performances. Adjusting to that kind of schedule isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, especially when your body isn't used to that kind of style.

Now let's get the most obvious point out of the way.

#2 Promo work

Sufferin’ succotash indeed

Some MMA fighters are better than others when it comes to promoting their fights and ensuring they get the biggest payday possible, but that isn't really the same as cutting a promo on someone when in reality you know it's all pre-determined. Finding that middle ground is something that would be really hard for fighters to do, and if you need proof then just look at Brock Lesnar.

The Beast was phenomenal at selling his fights over in the UFC but once he came back to the WWE, he desperately needed the help of Paul Heyman in order to get over once again because he just didn't seem legit on the mic.

It's no secret that professional wrestling is seen as a soap opera by alot of those guys and no matter how much money they're offered, you can't manufacture a fake response and expect to get away with it.

Wait, how long is the flight?

#3 Travel

We wouldn’t want their schedule

Mixed martial artists have a specific gym that they train at day in and day out, with some internal changes every few weeks and months. Sounds like a nice routine, right? That's because it is. However when it comes to WWE fighters, they're only ever really home for half of the week if that before they have to jet off on the latest tour around the world.

The miles that they put on their bodies is absolutely brutal with many wrestlers saying that the travel is what cut their career short due to the added stress that it provides. MMA fighters wouldn't be used to that kind of thing at all and they'd likely wear themselves out within a few weeks.

Once again, case and point - Brock Lesnar and to a certain extent CM Punk. As Madonna once said - let's get physical.

#4 Physicality

Even the ref felt that one

Yes, we know you get hit in the face on a daily basis as an MMA fighter - but in the WWE that is one of the many risks associated with the job, including bumps and pretty much every move ever invented. There's no protecting you from the bruises and scars that come with being a WWE Superstar, which is one of the many reasons why a lot of guys don't end up making it to the top.

Then you've got steel chairs, gimmick matches and all of the high flying spots that may look easy on TV but in reality are extremely difficult. Fighters won't have prepared for leaving the ground in that kind of manner and the actual brutality would be unlike anything they've ever experienced before.

Plus, just imagine how many guys and girls would be looking to prove a point at the expense of the incoming UFC or Bellator guy. Ouch. We conclude with perhaps the most pathetic point of them all - to some people, anyway.

#5 Having a boss

Don’t cross the boss

In the UFC, fighters sit down with Dana White and likely make a bit of small talk and have a laugh before finalising the terms of a fight. They shake hands, and then they go their separate ways. So essentially, it's more like having a close pal than a boss - which couldn't be further from the truth in the WWE.

Whilst it's true that Vince will try to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible, whatever he says you have to do you've got to go out there and do to the best of your ability. There's no room for compromise and once you're stuck with a gimmick you have to try and make it work, which would probably make a lot of MMA fighters feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Welcome to the big time.

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Edited by Staff Editor


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