Top 5 Fighters Turned Pro Wrestlers

Credits: Rebecca Brayton Matthew Wende
Written by George Pacheco These MMA fighters dominated in the octagon before making a name for themselves as professional wrestlers! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Fighters with Careers in Pro Wrestling! But who will take the top spot on our list? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Have an idea for our next video? Submit your idea to our suggest page here: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/
WatchMojo Share on Google+

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Top 5 Fighters Turned Pro Wrestlers

These competitors were already used to squaring up before entering the squared circle. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Fighters Turned Pro Wrestlers.

For this list, we'll be ranking former fighters or mixed martial artists who were able to successfully transition into the world of professional wrestling. We won't be including Brock Lesnar or CM Punk in this list, as they started out their careers in sports entertainment prior to their MMA days.

#5: Josh Barnett

Not every fighter achieves success in both mixed martial arts and professional wrestling, but this definitely ISN'T the case when it comes to the career of Josh Barnett. The Seattle native had excellent runs in the Pride, Pancrase and Strikeforce promotions, and is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Barnett didn't stop at these envious accolades, however, and started transitioning into professional wrestling with a run in New Japan back in 2003. The "Babyfaced Assassin" has also seen successful stints in the Inoki Genome Federation and TNA/Impact Wrestling, proving that there's little that Josh Barnett can't do when it comes to both contact fighting and sports entertainment.

#4: Matt Riddle

The next athlete on our list is a former contestant on Spike TV's reality program, "The Ultimate Fighter," Matt Riddle. Riddle appeared on the series' seventh season and impressed many with a UFC career which saw him earn four consecutive victories, before a failed drug test in 2013 effectively put a temporary kaibosh on his mixed martial arts career. Riddle picked himself from this stumbling block and began training for a run at professional wrestling, debuting nearly two years after his tenure in the UFC came to an end. Today, Riddle enjoys a thriving career as a popular star on the indie scene, working with such promotions as Defiant Wrestling and PWG.

#3: Ronda Rousey

Although Ronda Rousey's professional wrestling career was just recently announced with her signing to the WWE, her position was one of the industry's most recognizable faces and names ensures that all eyes will be watching her transition. Rousey has appeared in a WWE ring before, however, most notably at Wrestlemania 31, when her and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson confronted the company's authority figures Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. The MMA veteran has always professed admiration for pro wrestling in the past, including taking her nickname of "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey from WWE legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Her debut as the 2018 Royal Rumble even included new ring gear inspired by Piper's iconic visual style.

#2: Ken Shamrock

He's known affectionately (or not so affectionately, if you happen to be one of his opponents) as "The World's Most Dangerous Man." He's Ken Shamrock, and he's one of the most famous mixed martial artists to make his way into sports entertainment. Shamrock earned both title belts and accolades during his time with the WWE, becoming an intercontinental and tag team champion, not to mention winning the 1998 "King of the Ring" tournament. Shamrock also spent more time as a wrestler than many of his contemporaries, staying nearly a decade with the WWE before moving on to stints on the indie scene and for TNA/Impact throughout the early 2000’s.

#1: Dan Severn

Someone's gotta be first, and when it comes to MMA/Pro Wrestling crossovers, that man is Dan "The Beast" Severn. Severn became a star during the early days of mixed martial arts expansion and popularity, and is a UFC Hall of Famer. "The Beast" was the first mixed martial artist to simultaneously work as a professional wrestler, having successfully transitioned into a career with both the WWE and the National Wrestling Alliance. Severn even held the NWA and UFC title belts at the same time, blazing a trail for other full contact athletes in his wake.

You must login to access this feature

Related Blogs

Related Videos