For years, fans everywhere were anxiously anticipating Jordan Burroughs’ transition from wrestling into the mixed martial arts (MMA) arena, as many felt the Olympic gold medalist had the potential to go far in the sport.
But it never came.
Burroughs says he never saw the need to jump into a cage when he was already making a solid living as a wrestler. That said, he won’t deny he thought about making the move many times.
“It’s exciting. I can’t deny it, I can’t deny it at all,” Burroughs said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “There was a period of time early in my career where I was like, I’m gonna definitely fight. I definitely want to be a part of this lifestyle,’ he added.
“Then there was a period of time where I had so much success in the sport of wrestling and I was like, I don’t really need fighting. I’m good, I’m doing well financially, I’ve got a solid following. I’ve got a family, I’m healthy, I’m good,” said the wrestling powerhouse.
Still, Jordan admits that making a career switch is tempting, especially since he has witnessed so many former wrestlers make a successful transition.
“Now I’ve arrived at a place too where I’m seeing all of these guys that I once trained alongside become champions—and this is not a shot at any of those dudes—but if these guys can become champion, then I know I can become a champion because I possess all the same qualities that these guys possess,” he added.
“It’s exciting, it’s exciting. It’s something that I’d definitely consider. If I do consider fighting, it won’t be until after the Olympic games in 2020, and then from there I’ll reevaluate, see if it’s something that would be a realistic option for me.”
After Jordan wiped the mat with current undefeated (19-0-1, 1-0 UFC) Welterweight contender Ben Askren at a “Beat the Streets” charity event, Dana White revealed he’d love to welcome Burroughs to the Octagon.
Before Dana and Co. start breaking out the cash a star like Jordan would command, they —- along with ever other potential suitor — will have to wait until he takes care of business at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Should he win yet another gold medal, you can expect the fees for his services to go way up. While he admits he is a bit hesitant due to the potential damage to his health, Burroughs says at the end of the day, money talks.
“Because at this point, the great thing about what I do now is that when I leave the arena after a competition, I’m healthy. I go back to my house or I go to a restaurant with my buddies, I don’t have to go to the hospital. It’s just a significantly different lifestyle than we have,’ he added.
“No one steps into this Octagon expecting to get beat up and take a lot of punishment, so it’s something that I have to evaluate with my wife and my coaching staff here. But for the right price, I’d be willing to consider it for sure.”
Should Jordan make the move, he will be 32 by the time 2020 rolls around, which would seem like a late start for MMA. That said, Daniel Cormier began his full-time MMA career at the age of 30, and he has gone on to become one of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport.