ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

CM Punk isn't the first pro wrestler to jump from fake fighting into real fighting. And he won't be the last. Where there is smoke, there is fire and where there's pro wrestlers, there's money to be made in MMA.

CM Punk isn't even the first pro wrestler to join the UFC. Brock Lesnar, of course, did that after having one MMA fight. Lesnar was an NCAA Division I wrestling champion.

Other pro wrestlers have tried MMA and enjoyed moderate success. We don't know what's in store for Punk, but it's probably the same thing that was in store for Dos Caras Jr., better known as Alberto Del Rio, when he fought Mirko Cro Crop.

Let's take a look at five professional wrestlers who tried to take the fake out of the fight.

Dos Caras Jr. (Alberto Del Rio) vs. Mirko Cro Crop


The best part of this fight might be Mauro Ranallo, who does his best to play up Cro Cop without totally burying Dos Caras Jr. The lucha libre star actually did pretty well the first 30 seconds of the fight, but eventually fate (and a kick to the head) caught up with him.

This fight took place in 2003 and Cro Cop was undefeated at the time, so this was hardly a fair fight. For Dos Caras Jr., the loss dropped him to 3-3 in MMA. He ended his MMA career with a 9-5 record, before he found the world of pro wrestling, where he could make more money and get schooled in the art of how to cut a promo by, none other than CM Punk.


Shinksuke Nakamura vs. Daniel Gracie

WWE fans know of Nakamura as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time and the hottest thing going in its development territory, NXT.

Nakamura is the King of the Strong Style -- the ability to work stiff in a wrestling match -- and make the fights look real. He mastered that skill after more than 13 years as a professional wrestler. He also learned how to stage fights because he's been in a few real ones.

Nakamura has an MMA record of 3-1-1 and looks impressive in this fight. He maintained top control and may have been winning before Gracie caught him with a wristlock, forcing the verbal submission.


Nakamura is likely on his way to becoming WWE world champion. He's one of the most charismatic guys in the game, without even opening his mouth.

His ring entrance, by the way, is flat-out unreal (go to the 37-second mark to see Nakamura's entrance).


Bobby Lashley vs. Chad Griggs

Bobby Lashley also jumped from the world of professional wrestling into the cage and did so at the expense of his bank account.

Lashley didn't jump from the WWE into MMA for fun; he did it because he enjoys fighting. A college amateur wrestling champion, Lashley was rolling in the dough in the WWE, even headlining a WrestleMania with none other than Donald Trump in his corner.

Lashley is undefeated in Bellator, largely because he has been booked against guys he was supposed to beat. Lashley is super fit, but at 6 feet 2 and 270 pounds, his cardio is somewhere south of Mark Hunt's.

Lashley is 14-2 as an MMA fighter, with one of those losses coming against veteran James Thompson and the other against Chad Griggs, a part-time firefighter. Griggs wore Lashley down and, well, smashed him into a retirement. Beaten and too tired to continue, Lashley couldn't come out for the third round.

The actual fight doesn't seem to exist on the internet, but here's Lashley talking about why he "retired."


Dave Batista vs. Vince Lucero

Big Dave Batista left the WWE after winning the WWE championship several times and making friends with Triple H. Smart man. Batista, frustrated with the direction of his career, decided to leave for more credibility pastures.

At 40 years old he started training MMA to prove that he could do it. Like Lashley, Batista is a huge man. He is 6 feet 6 and nearly 300 pounds, so the key to MMA for him is to get the knockout early. Fortunately, that's what happened when he stepped inside the cage with Lucero, in a fight that was just a couple notches above Dada 5000 and Kimbo Slice.

If that New York Assembly member thinks MMA is "gay porn" he needs to watch this fight. More like "turtle porn." Batista won the fight because he was in better shape. It has been Batista's one and only MMA fight.


Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture

We all know Brock Lesnar's story: NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Champion, WWE Champion. UFC heavyweight Champion.

Lesnar is one of the greatest athletes in the world simply from the success he has had in multiple disciplines. He even tried out for the Minnesota Vikings as a walk-on, and was the last man cut. He was then offered a job playing in the then-NFL Europe.

After one MMA fight he jumped to the UFC where the industry would never be the same. Lesnar brought huge mainstream attention to the sport. The LA Times, USA Today and the New York Times covered UFC 100, and Lesnar was the sports biggest crossover star to date. He was handed a title shot in his fourth professional fight, against Randy Couture, knocking out the veteran.

Lesnar debuted in Los Angeles against Min Soo Kim. Lesnar smashed him in just over a minute, setting the stage for an eventual KO victory over Randy Couture.



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