Despite the vast contrasting styles in the Octagon and the ring, there are nuanced similarities that probably bring the athletes contending in the sport, to come under the same umbrella. We have previously seen how stars from contrasting backdrops have made a name for themselves under different banners. We have seen how Ken Shamrock has wreaked havoc for both WWE and UFC and Brock Lesnar was another name that both brands would undoubtedly pay tribute to hands down.
As we talk about athletes who have previously served both in the octagon and the ring, we would run you through a string of five athletes who have previously fought or continues to fight under the banner of UFC but have hinted in the past about a move to one of the biggest wrestling podiums in the entertainment history, WWE.
#5 Daniel Cormier
DC has always been an ardent admirer of wrestling’s biggest entertaining event. You would frequently see him drop his thoughts on WWE on his social media handles. The ilk of connection that the heavyweight UFC fighter has had previously with WWE made many people believe that he may find his future calling at WWE.
However, so far, things haven’t really worked out to plan. WWE has also expressed its interest in DC and Hunter has been pretty vocal about it too. He quoted, “I love Daniel (Cormier), we’ve obviously talked a lot in the past. We’ve had conversations about him doing stuff with us in the past whether that’s in-ring or whether that’s commentary or doing different things.”
#4 Paige VanZant
When Paige’s UFC contract was about to end in 2020, there were ripe speculations about whether she could join WWE. Walking to the octagon for the UFC 251 PPV, she was misty-eyed. As per Dave Meltzer, WWE was also interested in Paige and wanted her to make a Summerslam appearance. However, her professional obligations with UFC threw a spanner in her plans.
She is currently a part of the AEW roster, the official debut of which came a series of spasmodic appearances. Given the explosive boxer she is, WWE still wants to go after her but this move would take time to happen, especially with a dynamic diva roster that the brand currently possesses.
#3 Henry Cejudo
Cejudo has been the golden boy of UFC but the origin of gold around his neck stemmed from Olympics. A former two-division champion that starred the likes of UFC Flyweight Championship and UFC Bantamweight Championship, is the fourth fighter in the antiquity of the octagon to hold two championships in different weights simultaneously.
When he announced retirement from UFC after flooring Dominick Cruz with a TKO in the second round, defending his bantamweight title, there were anticipations of him coming out of the early retirement to be a part of various wrestling brands. Sadly, for the fans, Triple C has appeared in patches at the UFC but only outside the octagon. Only time shall tell, whether he would be a part of any wrestling roster in the offing.
#2 Cris Cyborg
With the success received by Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, and Jessamyn Duke in the ring, WWE has always believed in bringing other UFC divas on board, especially given their street-fighting prowess. Cris Cyborg has dropped countless hints previously that once she is done with UFC, WWE can very well be her next destination.
She even paid a visit to the WWE Performance Center in 2019, a move that fanned the fire in rumors. In a 2019 interview, she quoted, “I love both AEW and WWE and the fans of professional wrestling are always stopping me in the street asking me when I am going to have a wrestling match, If the opportunity presents itself, and the deal makes sense, I would love to challenge myself with pro wrestling.”
#1 Conor McGregor
Mr. Notorious, the bard of the Octagon or whatever you want to call him as, feel free for McGregor tops the list. With the kind of mic skills that he comes to the Octagon with, anyone would undoubtedly say that he was tailor-made for WWE. Given his earlier bombs dropped on the ring from afar, speculations were wild when he suddenly announced his retirement from MMA only to come back from it and hit the octagon again.
During UFC 202’s media scrum, McGregor had a few special words for the leader of Cenation. However, this move didn’t really sit well with WWE and they hit back at the Notorious one. McGregor quoted, “What’s the main guy? John Cena. He’s 40 years of age. He’s walking around in a luminous orange t-shirt and a headband talking about nobody can see him. We can see him right there. He’s a big fat, 40-year-old failed Mr. Olympia mother f*cker.”