Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was reportedly uninterested in giving Olympic gold medalist wrestler Gable Steveson a straight shot to the promotion.
It was clear that both UFC and WWE had serious interest in acquiring the services of Steveson in the aftermath of the Tokyo Olympics. A new report, however, suggests WWE was willing to make a more immediate commitment to the Olympian.
UFC wanted Steveson to gain experience on the regional mixed martial arts (MMA) scene before potentially competing for a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, sources reportedly told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi.
Steveson, 21, expressed his enthusiasm to realize a long-time dream of being a WWE superstar.
“I’ve been on WWE since I was really young,” Steveson shared. “I was on guys like Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a very long time. So growing up watching them, me being an entertainer on the wrestling mat, it just felt like it was the right choice.
“Being able to learn how to take bumps and with the wrestling background I have right now, I think I can adapt to all of it really quick,” Steveson continued. “I think with the charisma and the confidence and the attitude that I bring to the wrestling mat, it will translate over to the WWE really fast, and I feel that I can ... go on screen and have a good role and know what to do perfectly.”
And don’t worry, Steveson has the all-important professional wrestling finisher in mind.
“I think I got one in mind,” he said. “ ... It’s crazy how long I’ve been following them and now I’ve reached that point where I’m going to be walking out in front of WrestleManias and SummerSlams, and people are going to do my signature look when I’m an old man, too.”
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