There are five current WWE Superstars that once had a career in MMA. Often times, athletes fantasize about how they would fare if they were to participate in another sport. Several entertainers and athletes have tried their luck on the WWE stage. Professional wrestlers have often crossed over into other entertainment genres and sports as well.
Former WWE Superstars have also entered into the world of MMA. Names like Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, Bart Gunn and Dave Bautista are just a handful of professional wrestlers that have given combat sports a shot.
In this article, we will discuss the path of five current WWE Superstars through Mixed Martial Arts. This is not a comprehensive list and there are several names that will not be included. Ronda Rousey is not active in the WWE, so she is not included.
#5 Jessamyn Duke
Long before her time as a WWE Superstar in NXT, Jessamyn Duke was an amateur and professional MMA fighter. Duke started her amateur career in 2010, fighting for Absolute Action MMA and Tuff-N-Uff. She won the featherweight championship in both MMA companies, compiling a 5-2 record.
Jessamyn Duke made her professional MMA fighting debut in 2012 for Invicta Fighting Championships, where she earned a TKO victory. She would fight for Invicta for one year before earning a major opportunity to showcase her talents.
In August 2013, Duke became a cast member of the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter reality television competition. She was defeated in the elimination round, but her fight against Raquel Pennington earn both competitors the Fight of the Season award.
After a strong performance on the television series, Duke earned the opportunity to fight for the UFC. After winning her UFC debut, Duke lost three consecutive fights, leading to her release from the promotion. While in the UFC, Duke's overall professional career record was 3-5-1.
In May 2018, Duke and fellow former MMA competitor Marina Shafir, signed with the WWE and began training at the Performance Center. Just a few months later, Duke and Shafir made their debuts when they interfered in the NXT Women's Championship match to assist WWE Superstar Shayna Baszler in winning the title. The trio reigned over the NXT Women's Division from that point on.