10 Post-WWF (2002-Present) Wrestling Legends Who Could Have Been UFC Superstars: A Fan's View (Yahoo! Contributor Networ


By Eric Holden,

According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Brock Lesnar is making his way back to the WWE just months after calling it quits in the UFC octagon.

UFC president Dana White.
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Besides Lesnar, we've seen other UFC superstars make smooth transitions over the years between the worlds of mixed martial arts and professional wrestling. Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz have both made appearances in the past for various promotions, including the UFC and WWE.

Last week, I took a look at ten wrestling legends from the early-90s that could have successfully made the leap into the UFC.

Here's a look at ten post-WWF (2002-present) wrestling legends who could have been UFC stars:

1) Kurt Angle: There's no question that Angle deserves the No. 1 spot on this list, as he was a wrestler both in high school and college. Before he was a WWE superstar, he won a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

2) The Undertaker: The Undertaker has been a WWE staple since the early-90s, and he remains one of the top stars in the promotion today. The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar exchanged words when the wrestling legend was sitting cageside at UFC 121 in 2010.

In a post-fight interview with UFC reporter Ariel Helwani, the Undertaker was asked if he would have considered joining the UFC when he first got his career started if the sport was as popular as it is today. "Safe bet," he responded. "Real safe bet. It's a little late in the game for me to start now, but twenty years ago I'd be all over it."

3) Batista: In early-211, Batista was looking into embarking on an MMA career, but plans fell through when Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa. TMZ.com reported "Batista told our guy he's 'real disappointed' with the way things turned out … adding, 'I really had my heart set on Strikeforce.'"

4) Shelton Benjamin: Benjamin had a legitimate wrestling base, which would have provided a superb foundation for MMA training. Not only was he a high school wrestler, but he wrestled at the University of Minnesota before becoming a WWE superstar.

5) Bad News Brown: Brown was an outstanding wrestler in the WWF and Stampede Wrestling promotions, but he was an Olympic bronze medalist in Judo before he became a wrestling star. Judo is one of the key techniques used in MMA.

6) Ric Flair: Flair was perhaps the greatest pure wrestler of all-time, noted for his crisp technique in the ring. He was a true student of the game and excellent amateur wrestler, and I have no doubt that he would have easily translated his skills into a UFC cage.

7) Rey Mysterio: In his heyday, Mysterio became a fan favorite in the WWE for his high-flying Lucha Libre style. His endurance, cardio and pure athleticism would have helped him make a smooth transition into the world of mixed martial arts.

8) The Miz: Mike "The Miz" Mizanin is an elite athlete who could have tested his skills in a UFC octagon. In high school, he was a multi-sport standout who dominated on the basketball court and track. With that kind of cardio and raw natural ability, along with a strong wrestling base, The Miz could have excelled in MMA.

9) Dolph Ziggler: Wrestling is one of the top fundamentals needed as a base for MMA, and Ziggler has plenty of experience in the discipline. He was a three-time All-Mid-American Conference champ as a wrestler at Kent University, and he wrestled in high school prior to his college career.

10) The Steiner Brothers: The Steiner Brothers, Rick and Scott, are legitimately talented wrestlers who could have used their skills in a UFC octagon. The duo disbanded in 1998, before briefly returning to action in the TNA promotion from 2007 until 2008.

Eric Holden is a lifelong UFC fan and supporter of the sport of mixed martial arts. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

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