clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 203: CM Punk continues long tradition of pro wrestling in MMA (Video)

While critics and cynics have bashed the decision by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to provide former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) professional wrestling champion CM Punk with an opportunity to compete in professional mixed martial arts (MMA) as a "freak show," most are perhaps unaware of the historical tie between the two disciplines.

Yes, WWE is scripted and UFC/MMA is real; however, wrestling and martial arts -- namely jiu-jitsu -- have been intertwined since the early 20th century. It's a relationship that over time has taken numerous forms, played out in various formats -- from the shores of Japan, Brazil and the United States -- but has ultimately been distilled into two different (yet similar) forms of combat sports entertainment. Is MMA, at its core, modified pro wrestling as CM Punk suggests?

We explore in the embedded video above, just days before Punk fights Mickey Gall at the UFC 203 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sat. night (Sept. 10, 2016) inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. To see who else is fighting at UFC 203 click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania