MMA is not all it’ cracked up to be. You get injured often (it’s fighting after all) and pay can be pretty low, especially if you’re not a big name. So fighters are looking for every possible way to make money outside the cage. Professional wrestling is a great option as companies like WWE are always looking for big men to join the sports entertainment world. So here are the top ten professional fighters turned professional wrestlers. Rules for this list: the fighter must be in MMA then go to wrestling, but could have started in wrestling then jumped back and forth.
10. Stephan Bonnar
Stephen Bonnar may be best known for his war with Forrest Griffin but now he’s trying to be known for his professional wrestling career as well. He has not done too much but his presence as a UFC Hall of Famer in the world of professional wrestling is definitely noteworthy.
9. Josh Barnett
Josh Barnett joined Impact Wrestling with multiple other MMA fighters while still under contract with the UFC. It’s pretty insane to see an MMA legend like him join a wrestling company and then being able to fight in a legit fight the next day.
8. Dan Severn
Dan Severn is an MMA pioneer who was also around during the WWE’s attitude era. He didn’t do much in the promotion but still competed in both companies as one of the earliest examples of crossing over from MMA to professional wrestling.
7. Matt Riddle
Matt Riddle suffered harsh criticisms from UFC president Dana White for his use of marijuana. After being cut from the company, Riddle enjoyed success in both MMA and professional wrestling. Riddle has no desire to return to the UFC as he is clearly being treated better outside the UFC in the land of professional wrestling
Shayna Baszler has a short UFC stint back in 2014 to 2015 but soon was released from the company. She is now best known for being Ronda Rousey’s friend and being a part of WWE’s developmental territory NXT. She is enjoying great success and hasn’t looked back ever since.
Bobby Lashley was a former world champion in WWE and Impact Wrestling until he tried to be one in MMA. He has a 15-2 record and has been one the more known stars in Bellator MMA. He hasn’t fought in the company since 2016 and is enjoying great success in Impact Wrestling as of now.
4. Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock participated at the first ever UFC event but is also known for his time in WWE. He had multiple feuds with big name wrestlers in the company and fitted in quite well with the other superstars of that era. He is known by many wrestling fans and MMA fans alike.
Colby Covington is best known as a nasty trash talker and top ranked welterweight in the UFC. A lot of the trash talk stems from his wrestling career that he has on the side. Covington has competed in Impact Wrestling and has plans to join WWE in the near future.
2. Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey is the most recent example of an MMA fighter becoming a professional wrestler. She suffered two brutal losses that caused her to rethink her career choice. Now she has gone from UFC champion to future WWE women’s champion.
1. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lenar was very popular in WWE in the early 2000’s. He became a mega star once he became UFC champion after leaving the WWE. He soon left the UFC after a few losses and is currently the WWE Universal Champion and is expected to headline this year’s Wrestlemania.