5 UFC stars who could follow Ronda Rousey to WWE
Crossovers between MMA and pro-wrestling aren’t exactly new – the whole Japanese MMA scene of the 1990’s and 2000’s was based out of pro-wrestling and the likes of Kazushi Sakuraba started in the squared circle before fighting professionally – but crossovers from the US-based promotions WWE and UFC have been relatively rare.
We’ve seen Brock Lesnar and CM Punk come over to the UFC from WWE (with Lesnar going back the other way) to massively different results, but discounting Lesnar, no UFC stars have found their way onto WWE’s main roster (Shayna Baszler is in developmental) full-time since Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn in the late 90’s. That is, until last week, when former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was announced as being WWE’s latest big signing.
If Rousey succeeds, could we see other UFC stars looking to branch out into the world of WWE? It might sound doubtful, but stranger things have definitely happened before. While it’s hard to see someone like Demetrious Johnson or Cain Velasquez in a WWE ring anytime soon, the following five could well make a move to pro-wrestling at some point in the future.
#1 Daniel Cormier
Right now, Daniel Cormier is probably training hard for his upcoming fight with Stipe Miocic – the first time in UFC history that the reigning Light-Heavyweight champion has faced off with the reigning Heavyweight champ. Cormier could go down as one of the all-time greats. But ‘DC’ has also made it well-known that he doesn’t intend to fight much longer – in fact, he’s promised to hang up his gloves on or before March 20th, 2019 – the day he turns 40.
But for an athlete like Cormier, would he really ever be able to quit active competition? Perhaps he’d prefer not to take any real punches to the face after 40, but pro-wrestling could be another thing entirely. Plenty of pro-wrestlers are still active way into their 40s, while the likes of Goldust and HHH still compete despite pushing 50. While pro-wrestling is arguably harder on the body than MMA, if Cormier could get a part-time deal like Brock Lesnar’s, it’d be perfect for him.
Cormier is a longtime fan of wrestling – he recently got into a Twitter spat with Cody Rhodes over the subject – and through his career in the UFC, he’s learned to use a microphone to his advantage – something that could serve him well in WWE. The current champ may well prefer to settle into a role as a UFC analyst and commentator, but if he were to choose to move to the squared circle, then there’s little doubt that he’d be a success.