Simon Gotch gives his take on MMA fighters transitioning to wrestling.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler, RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey, UFC Hall Of Famer Ken Shamrock, Matt Riddle, Tom Severn, WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, Minoru Suzuki and Antonio Inoki are just a few of the names in the professional wrestling world who have experience in the octagon and have made the successful transition to the sport of professional wrestling or vice versa. That transition has happened more often over the past few years as well as there being wrestlers venturing off into MMA -- more recently exampled by CM Punk and Jack Swagger.
While discussing this topic with Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald, Simon Gotch stated that he feels it works better when MMA fighters join professional wrestling and explained why and at the end of his statement he added that MMA fighters bring a sense of realism to the contests in the ring.
“I think it goes better with MMA fighters going into pro wrestling." Gotch continued, "The issue is that when you go into MMA, you have to consider that the guys you’re working with -- because a lot of techniques you learn in pro wrestling doesn’t necessarily translate [how] you learned them in MMA where as the converse is true. If you’ve learned MMA, you basically can do pro wrestling. It’s just, don’t kill the guy with it. I’ve more than once… I worked with some people that have amateur wrestling backgrounds or MMA backgrounds and they don’t know what to do and I’m like, ‘Welp, can you take me down?’ ‘Yeah’. ‘Okay, just don’t kill me’ and that’s kinda all you have to tell them then they realize… that’s how pro wrestling started. Original pro wrestling was legitimate contests with a predetermined finish. It was, 'We agreed that you were gonna beat me at this point in time and we go until that point', and we’re at a point now where pro wrestling has become more of a show but you can interject that level of reality back into it and having MMA fighters compete really does a lot of that."
Former MMA competitor Shayna Baszler will be defending her NXT Women's Championship against Bianca Belair at TakeOver: Phoenix in January. Click here to see the updated lineup for that show.