MMA and Pro Wrestling: The Line Is Starting to Blur

Randall WooContributor IIJune 27, 2012

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Those familiar with pro wrestling know the terms "face" and "heel." "Face" is short for "babyface," which essentially means "good guy." "Heels" are the villains, and love drawing boos from the crowd.

GSP v. Koscheck is a prime example of this. Remember Koscheck heckling the crowd in Montreal after UFC 113?

"Don’t worry, Pittsburgh Penguins are going to kick your ass next week, baby...And then I’m going to beat St-Pierre, so you guys are going to lose twice, how bout that? Yeah, that’s right Montreal."

Throughout TUF 12 Koscheck tried to bully and antagonize St-Pierre, while in return St-Pierre took the high road and didn't let Koscheck get under his skin.

It seems like more and more main events are built up to have some sort of soap opera storyline.

UFC 145, Jones v. Evans, was a saga of betrayal and usurpation. Former friends turned against each other.

At UFC 146, Dos Santos was to avenge his mentor Minotauro Noguiera against Frank Mir, who submitted Noguiera for the first time in his career UFC 140.

UFC 147's main event was to be Wanderlei Silva v. Vitor Belfort, to settle the rivalry that had simmered over the course of TUF Brazil.

And coming up at UFC 148, we have Anderson Silva v. Chael Sonnen. Sonnen is the closest thing we have to a pro wrestler in MMA today. His mic skills and persona are incomparable. If this fight had taken place when it was originally scheduled, at UFC 147 in Brazil, the boos would have been deafening.

Soap opera storylines help build anticipation for the fights. Part of the reason that Nick Diaz v. GSP was so intriguing was because of the animosity that was apparently shared between the two fighters. Dana White is quoted as saying, "I have never seen Georges St. Pierre hate somebody. He hates Nick Diaz."

Then, of course, we have the guy who actually did make the leap from pro wrestler to MMA fighter. Brock Lesnar won the UFC heavyweight championship in his fourth pro MMA fight. Another former pro wrestler, Bobby Lashley, fought for a time in Strikeforce.

Most of what the two sports share are the drama and theatrics. Thankfully, the integrity of MMA is still intact. It'll be a sad day in MMA if a fighter "jobs" (intentionally loses) to another.