There are many points of contact between the worlds of mixed martial arts and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). While WWE is considered “sports entertainment,” most of its competitors are highly trained fighters and martial artists, and there has been a great deal of crossover between the two disciplines.
Brock Lesnar is the best-known MMA fighter who also participated in the WWE. Lesnar spent two years in the WWE between 2002 and 2004, winning the King of the Ring and Royal Rumble tournaments as well as becoming a three-time WWE heavyweight champion. Of course, Lesnar is well-known to UFC fans as one of the promotion’s most successful competitors of all time, adding a UFC heavyweight title to his trophy case.
Other mixed martial artists who have spent time in the WWE include:
- Dave Bautista. Known as Batista in the WWE’s squared circle, Dave Bautista went on to try his hand as a professional mixed martial artist, to mixed reviews.
- Dan “The Beast” Severn. Dan Severn is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame, and one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists to try his hand at pro wrestling. He had stints in both the WWE and NWA.
- Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio, known in the WWE as Alberto “Dos Caras” Rodriguez, was among the more successful crossover competitors.
- Ken Shamrock. Shamrock left MMA to join the WWE during what would have been the prime of his fighting career. Nonetheless, the accomplished mixed martial artist had enough success in the octagon to earn him a place in the UFC Hall of Fame.
- Bobby “The Dominator” Lashley. While Lashley didn’t achieve great heights of success in the WWE, he was deserving of his nickname in the MMA octagon.
Other mixed martial artists who also had careers in the WWE include Bart Gunn, Paulo Cesar Silva, Sean O’Haire and Nathan Jones.