Could UFC and Boxing Stars Join WWE?, A Look at Early Beginnings of True Stars and The Rise Of Personalities in Physical Sports


The lines between sports and entertainment have always been closely intertwined, but the rise of WWE has made personality all the more important to the arts of boxing and martial arts.

Stars such as The Rock have made charisma and the ability to captivate an audience with skill on the microphone just as important as athleticism. This has translated over to the UFC and boxing press conferences, with many of the outbursts becoming more entertaining than the actual bouts.

As a result, there have been many athletes crossing the divide between the two sports, including at the impending UFC 200 event in July, cashing in on lucrative sponsorship deals provided by companies such as Reebok.

Conor McGregor is one of many athletes to have an exclusive deal with Reebok, making it an enticing option for many in the area of combat sports to perform at the highest level.

Early Beginnings of True Stars

Since sports came into the mainstream on television the demand for charisma from athletes has risen from audiences and producers. Muhammad Ali was one of the pioneers of bringing attitude to his press conferences as well as the ring, making proclamations about his stature in the sport.

His skill with words made him just as popular as his ability in the ring, as he was truly of world class at both aspects of the entertainment. As a result, the desire for all boxers to bring an abrupt personality to the pre-fight meetings became a must, allowing the event to become a spectacle for promoters and television companies.

No company capitalized more on this demand than the WWE by making wrestling a dominant feature on television to the encapsulating personalities it produced. Hulk Hogan was among the first to become an icon of the sport as “Hulkamania” ran wild across the United States, sending the popularity of the WWE through the roof.

Hogan’s rise saw him breach into the mainstream of Hollywood as he played a cameo in the third Rocky film, and in turn saw Mr. T feature as his tag-team partner at Wrestlemania –which drew a huge audience on pay-per-view.

Rise Of Personalities in Physical Sports

The nature of the WWE and pre-determined outcomes allowed the company to focus on the drama rather than the physical nature of the sport, allowing personalities to take the big stage without the fear of seeing them fail due to their lack of ability in the ring.

The Rock’s ability on stage has seen him launch a successful career in Hollywood, bringing further lucrative offers to himself and the WWE. As a result, boxing and the UFC have been determined to capitalize on the market.

There hasn’t quite been the success that The Rock has enjoyed, although the focus of athletes in boxing and UFC has mainly been on their exploits in the ring. However, Brock Lesnar has opted to make the crossover into the UFC, it raises the possibility whether anyone from the sport could switch the other way.

The 38-year-old is making his return to UFC after a five-year absence in his bout against Mark Hunt. Lesnar has a 5-3 record in his eight fights to date, and is 27/20 odds to beat Hunt accordingto online sports bookies.

Could Rousey Make The Switch?

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Ronda Rousey has become a household name due to her success in UFC, but she has also begun to spread her wings into the world of Hollywood as a result of her popularity. She recently appeared in a prominent role as Turtle’s love interest in the Entourage movie and hosted Saturday Night Live, displaying her comedic credentials in both productions.

There are reports that Rousey could feature at Wrestlemania 33 after making a memorable cameo with The Rock at the event in 2015. She has the style and fearless attitude on the mic to make a lasting impression on the company should she make a permanent move to the WWE.

Mayweather Jr and Fury Have The Talent On The Mic

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Floyd Mayweather Jr has made the case for him to be considered one of the all-time greats of boxing due to his unbeaten record in his 49 bouts. He has made himself a huge deal of money with his career in the sport, surpassing the earnings of Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Oscar De La Hoya.

The 39-year-old’s confidence in the ring and brash arrogance would make him the perfect foil for the WWE as he proved in 2008 with his brief stint against The Big Show. Mayweather was a hit in his brief time, although due to the rigors of the stunts needed week in, week out, he probably would not want to risk injury at this stage in his life.

Tyson Fury stunned the world with his victory over Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO heavyweight titles, extending his unbeaten record in the ring to 25 matches, while inflicting the fourth defeat of his career on the Ukrainian.

The 27-year-old has proven to be an entertaining speaker during his career, while his pre-fight press conference brought out his best barbs against Klitschko, making light of his weight following taunts from his opponent.

Fury has claimed that the fight will be the last of his career, which could open up the possibility that he may be able to make the switch, although he does not have the reputation of Mayweather or Klitschko to an American audience.

However, his size and nationality could appeal to the WWE, given the lack of British superstars currently in the organization, while he could also alleviate the pressure on the Big Show as the only colossus in the arena.

Would Stars Of Boxing and UFC Leave Their Roots?

Given the lucrative deals at the top end of both sports, it would be unlikely to see many of the best athletes give up their careers to switch full time to the WWE. Brief cameos may be the best that the company could hope for, although there are cases of fighters like Fury who may wish to reduce the punishment on their bodies to make the switch.

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