Chael Sonnen, Rampage Jackson and the 7 UFC Fighters We Want in WWE
Whenever a UFC fighter demonstrates verbal skills, they are considered to be borrowing from the world of professional wrestling.
And they are. Why wouldn't they?
Colorful smack talk grabs the attention of a fighter's opponent, and more importantly, his audience.
Talking smack can lead to grudge fights, and grudge fights are easy to sell. Vince McMahon figured that out long before Dana White even started balding.
In addition to the gift of the gab, pro wrestlers usually need to be in good shape. Well, unless your name is Roy Nelson or Mike Russow, UFC fighters are accustomed to maintaining an impressive physique.
And so it seems inevitable that some of UFC's biggest players will eventually transition into professional wrestling.
The money's better, and no one will actually choke you unconscious...You just have to pretend they did.
Here are seven UFC warriors that could entertain and draw coin in WWE!
An unlikely start, I know.
He's not the outrageous showman that Chael Sonnen is, but Frank Mir still has lots to offer WWE.
For one, he stands 6'3" and weights 260 pounds. That'll get Vince McMahon almost as hot and bothered as a Jim Ross roast. Mir is also one of the UFC's most established and longstanding stars. He's fought for the company for over a decade, and he's worn Heavyweight gold on two occasions.
That little rivalry he had with the Coors Lite crushing Brock Lesnar didn't exactly hurt his name value either.
Tell me you wouldn't tune in out of sheer curiosity to see their rubber match—even if it is inside the squared circle instead of the octagon.
Mir's greatest asset as a pro wrestler might be his oratory skills. He speaks so well that Zuffa had him calling WEC fights for a spell.
But don't be fooled. Mir can do a lot more than call leg kicks and butterfly sweeps. In the past, he has explained in graphic detail what he planned to do to his upcoming opponents.
Ask Tim Sylvia or Big Nog if he made good on those promises.
At 33 years old, Frank Mir may have a few decent years left in MMA, but in pro wrestling, he'd be a young pup with plenty of time to pick up the "Entertainment" portion of WWE.
I'd love to see Mir adapt his expert submissions for the ring. He'd be like a bigger, more intelligent Ken Shamrock.
Hopefully Mir turns down the incest storyline too.
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz
I'll be blunt: Tito Ortiz is the quintessential toolbox.
He speaks almost as eloquently as that skater boy your little sister met at the mall. You know the one. He could write a book using only the excuses he's made after losing his fights. He is married to a woman who has seen more beds than hotel housekeeping.
Oh, not to mention the fact that he is arrogant to the point that his head is literally inflated. When he shaves his head, it looks as though it's sporting a half-dozen hemotomas.
These characteristics definitely make Tito Ortiz a maroon, but they could also make him a bankable heel.
It's easy to dislike Tito. In fact, try not to. It's impossible.
Tito has even publicly expressed interest in making the jump to "fake" fighting.
However, WWE may not see a lot of long-term appeal in a 37-year-old who retired from UFC on a losing streak. It's more likely he'll turn up in TNA again, but that's not the route I'd take if I were the Huntington Beach Bad Boy.
He should agree to make a limited number of WWE appearances as there is money in tagging with Brock to form a UFC super team or in putting up a good fight against fellow Eminem-style thug, John Cena.
All apologies for the advertisement in the YouTube video. Hate those.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Rampage is reportedly one fight away from leaving the UFC.
If Glover Teixeira hands him a thrashing at UFC 153, I doubt we'll see the increasingly disgruntled Pride veteran on UFC programming again, but competing anywhere but the UFC is a huge step down in competition and publicity for a legitimate superstar like Rampage.
He did just fine in The A-Team, but I think we can live without a sequel.
A more fruitful path for Rampage runs through WWE. Even if he never developed superlative in-ring skills, his name value and always-ridiculous interviews would make him a smash hit on pay-per-view.
The unreasonably large chain around his neck. The pre-fight wolf howl. A history of working pro wrestling inspired slams and powerbombs into real-life combat. A God-given aptitude for red-hot insults that have singed everyone from Ariel Helwani to "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell.
It would be a travesty for Rampage not to lend his talents to the wrestling business.
If there's a spot for Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in the pro wrestling B-league, surely there are memorable moments awaiting his more hilarious predecessor on the big stage.
Chael Sonnen is the hottest MMA grab on this list.
Rampage's kooky rants happen to entertain, Tito's self-published encyclopedia of complaints and excuses happens to generate heat but Chael Sonnen doesn't just happen to be the best villain in MMA.
Perhaps the middleweight contender is predisposed to irritate and insult, but it's pretty clear that he has crafted an antagonistic character in much the same way WWE's best heels must do.
He's the only mixed martial artist whose one-liners could go one-on-one with the Great One and potentially stop the Rock in his tracks.
He talked himself into a second title opportunity against Anderson Silva, but Silva's knee shattered Chael's dreams of middleweight supremacy. A move up to light heavyweight competition would look cowardly and strategic given all the crap Chael talked about Silva.
I also doubt his wrestling credentials would hold up against physically bigger studs like Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, Phil Davis or Rashad Evans.
If his "Superstar" Billy Graham-like promos aren't enough to get him onto WWE television, his well-documented friendship with WWE Champion CM Punk should seal the deal.
Sonnen joining forces with CM Punk could easily outshine and outsell previous tag team pay-per-view headliners like the Mega Powers vs. Zeus and Ted DiBiase, or Shawn Michaels and Diesel vs. Yokozuna and Owen Hart.
And who wouldn't want to hear what Chael Sonnen thinks of John Cena's jorts, rap CD and goofy fist drop?
His infamous love affair with testosterone replacement therapy might earn him a couple Wellness Policy suspensions, but that'll just give him time to bond with Randy Orton.
His radical Right-anchored political views should land him in Vince McMahon's good books, so he'll be fine regardless.
You won't set out to watch the full hour of Chael Sonnen's venomous tongue in the video above, but you'll probably do so anyway.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller
He doesn't have the combative skills necessary to make a mark in the UFC, but he might just have the promo chops to talk himself into WWE.
Although technically retired from MMA, Miller remains an outspoken and flamboyant athlete. He doesn't have the biggest name in the sport, but his time on The Ultimate Fighter 14 and Bully Beatdown make him a familiar face.
More importantly, he's got crazy enough hair and communicative skills to stand out among the endless stream of cookie-cutter WWE Superstars.
He's one of the few men on this list who wouldn't enter WWE with one-off main event written all over him, but he could potentially work his way from the bottom of the card to somewhere near the top.
Not being able to fight real fights doesn't mean he can't look damn good following the WWE script.
One thing is for sure: Dolph Ziggler would sell a lot better for him than Michael Bisping or C.B. Dollaway did.
"Big Country" Roy Nelson
I bet when you read my Nelson dig in the intro you thought I'd snub him.
If paunch-rockers like Brodus Clay and Tensai can put together extended winning streaks and Paul Wight[Castle] can main event two consecutive pay-per-views, surely there's room in the WWE locker room for the proudest fat man on earth.
It's no secret that Nelson's mossy homeless beard, bulging mayonnaise-filled tummy and offbeat outspokenness rub Dana White the wrong way.
He'd likely be out of a job if not for the fact that his formidable punching power and incredible chin (credit: his crestfallen Santa beard) make for exciting fights.
If Nelson can't get by former Interim Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin at the conclusion of TUF 16, it might be time for "Big Country" to take his larger-than-life persona and anatomy elsewhere.
He's got the deceiving cardio, speed and grappling acumen to make it work.
Plus no one would badger him to drop down to 205lbs.
In WWE, his incessant belly-rubbing would be a marketing must.
Forrest Griffin would replace John Cena as WWE's most self-deprecating superstar, he'd rival Ryback for the craziest chimp ears on the roster and it's possible he'd run into the crowd almost as often as Diamond Dallas Page did back in WCW.
But hey, he might also stir things up in the padded playground that is WWE.
He won a pivotal war in the TUF 1 finals that is largely heralded as the greatest fight in UFC history. He's a former Light-Heavyweight Champion, and he was on the cover of the first UFC Undisputed video game.
Griffin's days at the top of his division are clearly behind him, but he's still one of the most famous personalities in mixed martial arts.
Randy Couture has to kick the guy out of the Xtreme Couture gym on a daily basis...or at least Mike Goldberg says so during every Forrest Griffin fight.
If Griffin truly has such mad work ethic, he should apply it to a combat sport where the conclusions are predetermined, and he doesn't have to worry about getting knocked out by a nonchalant jab.
"Filthy" Tom Lawlor
He scores big points for his Hulk Hogan and Dan Severan impersonations.
However, he lacks the mainstream appeal to make an immediate splash in the world's largest professional wrestling company.
His out-of-cage antics and solid wins over veterans Patrick Cote and Jason MacDonald have earned him a cult following, but that's simply not enough for the WWE hype machine to get behind.
At only 29 years old, Lawlor should dedicate the next few years to performing more consistently in the octagon and thus upping his stock.
Michael "The Count" Bisping
The self-assured, tempestuous Brit is a natural heel, especially in the U.S. market.
He's the kind of polarizing figure I can imagine getting booed out of the vast majority of arenas, yet cheered to no end by "smart" crowds in the U.K. and Canada.
That said, he is maybe one or two big wins away from a title shot.
For a fighter as serious and hardworking as Bisping, there's no sense trying out a different sport when you could conceivably be the one to dethrone the great Anderson Silva someday.
Dave "Pee-Wee" Herman
Youth, brashness and size are on his side, but he's still quite unknown.
I admit, there's something amusing about his claims that jiu-jitsu doesn't work. Too bad punching definitely does, as "Pee-Wee" has lost his last two fights by knock out.
He's a forgettable 2-1 in the UFC.
Everyone's least favorite eye-gouging ignoramus.
Koshcheck's been bested by welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre on two occasions, and his decision loss to Hendricks knocked him further out of title contention.
A different career path would be wise, but we're talking about Koshcheck here, a person conceited enough to think professional wrestling is below him.
More significantly, Koshcheck is inarticulate and somewhat small in stature, so there's little reason for WWE to pick him up.
"Suga" Rashad Evans
His showboating, chiseled physique and participation in several big-money fights could get him through Vince's door.
There's no doubt that Jon Jones outclassed him and left Evans' relevancy up for debate, so a departure from MMA can't be ruled out.
But until Rashad Evans tries the middleweight division on for size, there's really no reason for such a well-rounded athlete to hang up the gloves.
Diaz is skinny enough to receive a push comparable to that of Colin Delaney if he were ever stoned enough to sign a long-term contract with WWE.
That doesn't mean a one-off fight ala Floyd Mayweather, Jr. couldn't work. Diaz would get a sick payday.
WWE and UFC fans alike would get a chuckle out of Diaz's hooligan mumbling and Stockton slapping.
Diaz is notoriously averse to the media, but if he were smart, he'd sign a contract with WWE to defeat one of their Superstars on pay-per-view.
Otherwise he's a dead subject until his suspension ends in February 2013.
He's not much of a talker, but the 'Reem is enough of a horse devouring mutant for Vince McMahon to overlook that.
Could he pass a Wellness test? Sure. I mean, Batista did.
But I don't even want to think of him exiting the UFC until we see how Junior Dos Santos deals with the Dutchman's fire power.
His edgy demeanor and colorful verbiage could make him a believable bad boy wrestler.
Yet I wouldn't bet on it.
Chris Leben has made a name for himself by absorbing and throwing wicked shots, but that doesn't have the same kind of wow-factor in matches we know consist of feigned attacks.