On April 3rd, 2023, WWE Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel sensationally announced the multi-billion dollar merger of the sports entertainment brand and the UFC.
Since the news broke several MMA stars have been heavily linked with swapping the Octagon for the squared circle. Before McMahon and Emanuel announced the mega-money deal on CNN, MMA legend Conor McGregor posted an image of himself wearing titles from both promotions, which led to a social media back-and-forth between the Irish megastar and Paul Heyman.
“It depends on the contract, you know? If the contract is amazing, why not? What I wanted to do in MMA, I did already — even more than I thought in my head when I went through my whole career. I became a double champion. I wanted only one — I had two … I’m so happy, and whatever comes after I’m done with UFC, we’ll see. For sure, you guys will see me around anyways,” Nunes said.
Will Amanda Nunes Swap UFC For WWE?
If Nunes were ever to crossover from MMA to sports entertainment she certainly wouldn’t be the first as multiple other MMA stars have made the transition.
In 1997, Ken Shamrock entered the WWF for a successful wrestling career. That same year highly-decorated MMA legend Dan Severn also made the jump to the company.
Most notably Ronda Rousey joined the company after her cage fighting career ended and at WrestleMania 34 made her in-ring debut with Kurt Angle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Since then she went on to win the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships and headline WrestleMania 35 with Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
Cain Velasquez also made the jump from the Octagon to the wrestling ring for a feud with Brock Lesnar that saw the two former foes fight at Crown Jewel 2019 in Saudi Arabia. Speaking of Lesnar, the Beast famously quit sports entertainment in favour of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Lesnar debuted for Dana White’s promotion in 2008 and won the Heavyweight Championship that same year.
CM Punk also swapped wrestling for fighting in 2016 but to less favourable results.