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"In MMA I don't have to connect with anybody" - Riddle on his transition from UFC to WWE

Riddle was a UFC star before WWE
Riddle was a UFC star before WWE
Levi Grayshon
ANALYST
Modified 21 Feb 2021
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Riddle is one of the many stars who have worked for both UFC and WWE. The former NXT Tag Team Champion began wrestling in 2014 after a lengthy MMA career, and joined WWE in 2018.

Opening up on his transition from the world of UFC to WWE, Riddle told Vicente Beltran of ViBe & Wrestling:

"My transition from MMA to wrestling, my physical transition was easy. I was fighting, suplexing, kicking… that part was pretty easy. The hardest part for me was working in front of a live crowd, entertaining people, and connecting with people. In MMA I don’t have to connect with anybody, I just have to punch people in the face and stay focused on the match. Here, not only do I have to stay focused on the match, but I have to be focused on entertaining people and connect with them and make them feel something."

Riddle continued:

"The transition was pretty smooth as I was always a fan of pro wrestling. This is something I loved and something I always wanted to do. When I saw the opportunity I took it."

Riddle is one of many WWE stars with an MMA background

Riddle is not alone in being a WWE star who came from the world of MMA. Possibly most notably, former RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey took the plunge into WWE in 2018.

Rousey is a star who broke down barriers in both worlds. She was the first female fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and featured in the first-ever women's main event at WrestleMania.

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Current WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Shayna Baszler was also a force to be reckoned with as Rousey's protege in the UFC. Like Riddle, she later left to pursue a wrestling career.

Bobby Lashley, who Riddle is set to face at Elimination Chamber this weekend, also had an MMA stint between his two runs in WWE, giving the two men common ground.

The full interview with Riddle can be found here.

Published 21 Feb 2021, 02:47 IST
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