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5 Combat sports athletes who would be a hit in WWE

Several stars with combat sports experience could do very well in WWE.
Several stars with combat sports experience could do very well in WWE.
ANALYST
Modified 18 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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WWE is no stranger to the world of legitimate combat sports. Over the years, Vince McMahon's promotion has played host to some of the biggest names in the world from both boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

Names such as Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson have all crossed over from the boxing ring to make appearances for WWE in the past.

More recently, current WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury actually competed in a WWE ring when t on Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel 2019 in Saudi Arabia.

These boxing crossovers, though, have tended to be brief cameo appearances. It is with athletes from elsewhere in the combat sports space that WWE has found its greatest long-term successes.

The world of MMA has produced many athletes who have transitioned well to sports entertainment. For example, former UFC titleholders Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey have each headlined WrestleMania after retiring from the Octagon.

Elsewhere, current RAW Superstar Riddle competed in the UFC for several years before making the move to professional wrestling, as did Shayna Baszler. Reigning United States Champion Bobby Lashley also has professional MMA experience, having put together a 15-2 record as a fighter between 2008 and 2016.

The UFC Hall of Fame even includes a former WWE Intercontinental Champion, with MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock enjoying a reign in 1998. Shamrock is also a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion and continues to wrestle for IMPACT Wrestling to this day.

History has shown that WWE is a very realistic destination for combat sports personalities who want to showcase their athleticism and charisma in a different environment.

As the release of two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez proved last year, though, not every fighter is destined to make the grade in WWE. However, here are five combat sports athletes that would almost certainly be a hit if they were to join WWE.

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#5 Former two-division UFC Champion Daniel Cormier has made no secret of his desire to one day compete in WWE

Now working as an announcer for UFC following his retirement last year, Daniel Cormier is a lifelong fan of WWE.

'DC' enjoys the WWE product so much that he even gave his picks for WrestleMania last year as part of a segment on the podcast he co-hosts alongside MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.

A move to WWE is certainly something that appeals to Cormier. He revealed last year that he was asked to play a role in the promotion for Cain Velasquez's WWE Championship match against Brock Lesnar in October 2019. Unfortunately, Cormier - who was still an active fighter at the time - could not find a window in his schedule, and plans were scrapped.

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A UFC titleholder at both Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight during his career, Cormier was, at one point, scheduled to face Lesnar inside the Octagon. That too did not pan out, but DC could still get it on with 'The Beast Incarnate' if he were to join WWE.

A former Olympic wrestler, Cormier undoubtedly possesses the technical skills to give himself a great shot at succeeding in the professional ranks. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion also has the charisma to make himself an instant attraction in WWE, particularly to fans who are familiar with him from his time in UFC.

Although he turns 42 next month, Cormier still has an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream with WWE. If he were to do so, it would make for a very intriguing prospect.

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Published 18 Feb 2021, 07:14 IST
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