Shayna Baszler had a decent stint as an MMA fighter before making the move to professional wrestling. The 'Queen of Spades' spent close to a decade competing in different mixed martial arts promotions in the U.S. Baszler also fought for promotions in Japan and Costa Rica during her MMA career and retired with a 15-11 professional record.
Shayna Baszler won her first title in MMA by defeating Adrienna Jenkins to become the bantamweight grand prix champion for Freestyle Cage Fighting in 2010.
She then went on to defeat Elaina Maxwell in her next fight to become the 140-lbs women's champion for Cage Inc. Shayna Baszler was on a two-fight losing skid when she signed with the UFC, where she failed to break her losing streak.
Baszler lost to Bethe Correia via a second-round TKO in her promotional debut at UFC 177. She then lost to two-division champion Amanda Nunes. Following this, Shayna Baszler was granted her release from the UFC to pursue a career in pro wrestling.
Shayna Baszler and her move to professional wrestling
Shayna Baszler, initially, spent some time on the independent circuit and fought in several promotions such as World Wonder Ring Stardom, Shimmer Women Athletes and Absolute Intense Wrestling. Baszler took her career to new heights by joining NXT in 2017 and has become a regular figure in WWE over the years.
While talking about the shift in her career in a 2019 interview, Shayna Baszler told RhondaRousey.com:
"And that’s not to say I went into fighting thinking, 'I’m going to be a pro wrestler.' What I mean is that, I trained with Josh Barnett—who is an old-school style pro wrestler. And back in his time, you had to fight before you could pro wrestle. And so I kind of always knew where it came from, so I just figured I was already a pro wrestler. You know what I mean?"
"You see my old MMA stuff, I’m coming out with a guitar and I’m saying hilarious stuff during. Yeah. So I’m saying hilarious s**t during interviews and stuff like that. And then, I get to pro wrestling and now I’m like, 'Shayna’s a fighter." I don’t do much," said Baszler.