Professional wrestlers moving to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts have shown to be both successful and unsuccessful. Since the popularity of MMA, there have been a number of wrestlers who have decided to compete for the combat sport. Out of those names, only a very small few have actually gained a level of success that would make them continue to compete.
Two of these names are Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. Lesnar began his MMA career in 2007 with a victory, before commencing a career in the UFC a year later. Shockingly, he saw himself on the losing end to Frank Mir via submission in his first match. Lesnar would go on a four-match winning streak, defeating Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir, and Shane Carwin, also gaining the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He would then go on a two-match losing streak, to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, before retiring due to health issues. He would make his return nearly five years later, defeating Mark Hunt. However, it was later exposed that he was charged with a doping violation, which infuriated Hunt.
Hunt’s attorney commented on the matter to MMAJunkie.
“There’s nothing deterring Brock Lesnar from doping, getting $5 million-plus from pay-per-view and the purse, and just turning around to pay a nominal fraction of that when they have no desire to come back to the UFC, anyway.”
For Lashley, he endeavored in his MMA career beginning in 2008, defeating Joshua Franklin. Perhaps his most notable win was against former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Bobb Sapp in 2009, making his record at the time 4-0. Impressively, Lashley now has a 15-2 record, with losses in 2012 against Chad Griggs and James Thompson, respectively.
Since Lesnar has received his MMA popularity from UFC, and Lashley from Bellator, the two have never crossed paths to compete against each other. However, Lashley did state in a recent interview with The Sun that he is interested in fighting Lesnar, even if he is retired.
“Brock is not in the UFC now, I just learned that. I told the boss that I wanted the Lesnar fight and he said he didn’t know and then I told him I wanted the Fedor fight and he said he didn’t know that either! I told him I have been calling and I want something. They’re both big paydays and I am not getting younger but right now I am in great shape.”
For some, one match was all they needed to realize that MMA was not for them. In 2010, former Spirit Squad member Nick Mitchell competed in a match against Rocky Long, and he was defeated in the second round. Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash stepped into MMA in 2008, before losing due to a technicality. He would then return eight years later at 47-years-old, and lose in a welterweight fight to Lindsey Jones in Nashville, Tennessee. Cash was defeated in a mere 39 seconds.
Even former WWE Champion Batista poked into the MMA world in 2012. However, his match against Vince Lucero, who he appeared to be in much better shape than, was heavily criticized by reporters. Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report stated that his MMA career was “much ado about nothing,” as he was “attempting to convince the sports world that his swollen muscles would translate from the world of pro wrestling into a successful career of face punching.” Although Batista vs. Lashley was once teased, it never came to fruition.
A match between Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley would indeed be a box office draw. Not simply because both are professional wrestlers, but due to each competitor having a successful career in UFC and Bellator, respectively. Not only would this match allure the pro wrestling world, but the MMA community as well.
[Featured Image By WWE]