Ever since Dan Severn made the crossover from wrestling to MMA, the two industries have been closely tied together, but MMA fans are not very convinced. Let us make things clear and dispel some of the misconceptions that MMA lovers might have because we think that wrestling an MMA are twins.
First, let us explain the exaggerated reactions and behaviour of professional wrestlers is meant to be like that, it is all for show. There is a valuable skill that wrestlers need to have, to perform their hammy acts and extravagant displays, not everybody can do it and it is not meant to look real.
Professional wrestling is to acting what Kermit is to frogs, there is no use in focusing on realism. On that note, the wrestling part of the shows is not as easy as it seems to be, and there is more to it than just looking menacing in a pair of tights.
Just like with MMA, to become a professional wrestler you need to put in a lot of time and effort.
One of the most outstanding examples of being excellent as a wrestler to make a name for yourself must be Bret Hart. It is an art and a skill to make sure the act is believable while keeping your opponent safe from actual harm.
It is a well-known fact that, in wrestling, the outcomes are pre-set before the fight and this is the one plain difference there is between wrestling and an MMA fight. Even in Japan, the birthplace of some of the most famous martial arts like karate and aikido, organizations like AJPW shoot-style promotions just like it is done by UWF.
On the other hand, there are also many elements of wrestling integrated into an MMA style of fighting, as can be observed by any fan who takes the time to look past the bias.
Wrestlers put their bodies through a lot of strain, just like MMA fighters, they take hits, punches, kicks, and even withstand being thrown around.
The fact that the octagon seems to be well padded doesn’t take away that the wrestlers suffer each attack, it hurts, and it taxes their bodies. Just like with MMA, a high pain threshold and skill is required.
There is no reason to say that wrestling and martial arts are at opposite ends of the octagon, or tatami. They are twins and we should all embrace them together, enjoying what they have to offer.