5 WWE Superstars Who Could Succeed in the UFC

Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIJanuary 8, 2012

5 WWE Superstars Who Could Succeed in the UFC

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    With news that CM Punk will be walking out with Chael Sonnen for Sonnen's match with Mark Munoz, the topic of WWE wrestlers and MMA fighters seems to be coming up more.

    Pro wrestling is looked down on by many fans of other sports, and that includes MMA fans.  The men and women who compete in wrestling are viewed as actors and stunt people with no actual fighting ability who work in "fake" matches.

    However, the WWE employs some people with real fighting backgrounds who could not only beat up most people, but could even take a run in the Octagon.  They might even succeed on a serious level.

    That is because wrestlers in the WWE not only have to be charismatic, they usually know a thing or two about technical wrestling.

    So here are five people in the WWE who are young enough that if they switched over today, could win a fight in the UFC.

CM Punk

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    CM Punk is a huge name in pro wrestling and it's easy to see why.  He is clever, puts on great matches and knows just the right words to get the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.  He is also just 33 years old.

    Punk may be a lifelong pro wrestler but he mentioned to Ariel Helwani on the MMA hour how he trained in traditional martial arts because he couldn't join the wrestling team in high school.

    He also is an MMA fan, and his favorite fighter is Dan Henderson.

    It might take him a bit more time to pick up some new elements that have been implemented in mixed martial arts, but with his work ethic, he could easily catch up.

Alberto Del Rio

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    Even if he lost, the man fought Mirko Cro Cop when the the Croatian kickboxer was still in his prime.

    Del Rio actually has a 9-5 record in MMA, including this fight.  His career in MMA took place at the same time as he was wrestling, and it is obvious that his wrestling career came first.

    If the roles were reversed or if wrestling was eliminated, he could very well have been a top MMA fighter.

    At 34, he wouldn't have much time to get better, but since he already started in MMA, he would also need the smallest amount of time to get ready.

Daniel Bryan

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    Daniel Bryan is considered one of the best technical pro wrestlers in the world today, and it's no surprise why.  He has trained in Jiu-Jitsu and grappling to the point of being a consummate professional in real combat.

    He has a YouTube channel and though it is sporadic in it's updates he shows his focus on submission wrestling.  

    Knowing as much as he does about it and adding his obvious passion for MMA, it would be hard seeing Bryan do anything but dominate in the UFC.

    At 30, he also would have plenty of time to grow into the sport.

Jack Swagger

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    The All-American American has a goofy nickname, but it's steeped in some truth as well.  Swagger was an All-American wrestler when he was in college and started before that in high school.

    He was such a good wrestler that Jim Ross, a scout for the WWE, told him to contact Ross after he graduated.

    He then went to the WWE immediately and has been with the company since.

    Even though he has had a decent career there, he is only 29 years old and could quickly switch over to the UFC with very little preparation.

Santino Marella

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    It may be hard to believe the man pictured above could be an MMA fighter, but he could.

    Santino Marella has trained in Judo for over 20 years and wanted to be an MMA fighter before he went on to become a wrestler.  

    He had even wrestled in high school and college.

    As a former shoot fighter, he has everything he would need to be an elite fighter.  He doesn't even need to be trained, he just needs to resume the training he already practiced.

    He is also in his prime at 32.

    It might take a little bit of time to re-acclimate to MMA, but Marella would not only do well; he might even win UFC gold.