When it comes to discussing MMA fighters, who would likely make great pro wrestlers there are several obvious folks that come to mind. Outspoken household names like Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, and Rampage Jackson, are all clear cut choices, who have already dabbled in the world of professional wrestling. However, I thought it might be fun to try and go beyond the obvious, and find a few lesser known fighters, that might also be a good fit.
Rousimar Palhares- There’s nothing better than a guy that comes with a built-in storyline. Palhares, a well muscled Brazilian welterweight, is best known for his controversial antics in the cage. Most notably, his refusal to let go of submission holds after the initial stoppage. Following his UFC 111 bout with Thomasz Drawal, Phalhares was suspended for 90 days, after holding on to his signature heel hook, after the stoppage was called. At UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields, Phalhares once again failed to release his submission hold in a timely manner, resulting in his release from the promotion.
However, Palhares was ultimately given another chance to continue his MMA career, with Ray Sefo’s World Series of Fighting promotion. Despite being allowed to compete in the promotion, Palhares was given stern warning from management, regarding his in cage conduct. Even those not familiar with story, probably have a pretty good idea how this turned out. Yep, during just his second fight with his new promotion, a title fight against Jake Shields, Phalhares once again held a submission after the initial stoppage. This ultimately resulted in a two-year suspension. If you’re a wrestling promoter looking for a legit heel, then this could be your guy. Palhares, who’s been kicked out two major MMA organizations, could garner instant heat by holding submissions on baby faces, long after the final bell tolled. Moreover, you could pair him with a good manager, to compensate for his inability to speak English. Picture Paul Heyman, for example, at ringside frantically trying to get his client to release the hold. It’s been said that some of the best wrestling storylines are based on real life events. If so, Palhares could have a pretty decent run, for a wrestling promotion that’s willing to take a bit of a risk.
Smile’N Sam Alvey- We started with a guy who would be a natural heel, now let’s take a look at a potential babyface. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Alvey is a 6 foot 2 middleweight, who competes primarily in preliminary bouts. Heck, the guy already comes equipped with a perfect baby face ring name. Known for his signature smile and quirky personality, it isn’t hard to picture Alvey entering the world of pro wrestling. In fact, he has already challenged fellow middleweight fighter, Elias Theodorou, to a hair vs. hair match, a famous wrestling stipulation. Theodorou, who sports an impressive head of long brown hair, refused the stipulation.
However, in the spirit of showmanship, Alvey showed up to the weigh-ins sporting a wig, which loosely resembled his opponent’s hairstyle. Another entertaining Alvey moment happened in conjunction with the UFC’s Rebook sponsorship. After being informed he could no longer wear sponsors (besides Reebok) on his clothing, Alvey responded by spray tanning his sponsor’s name (which happened to be a tanning company) across his chest. Alvey also comes fully equipped with a signature pose. After defeating an opponent, Alvey tilts his head to the side with a sort of sadistic smile and points outward with both his index and little finger. Lastly, his wife McKey Sullivan won the 11th season of America’s next top model. Sullivan, who is no stranger to the spotlight, might also make an excellent valet if needed.
Michael “Venom” Page- A 6 foot 3 fighter from the UK, Page currently competes in Bellator’s welterweight division. Page is known for his orthodox fighting style, which combines freestyle kickboxing and sport karate. The UK product has a flashy blend of techniques, which have resulted in highlight reel finishes. His flying knee’s and elbow strikes would look great in a pro wrestling ring. Furthermore, Page also frequently shows off and taunt many of the opponents he has faced in Bellator, demonstrating and knack for histrionics. Moreover, his signature sunglasses and polished accent, give Page a bit of a cool factor. The recent departure of British star Wade Barrett could leave the door open for a new UK star, and Page just might be the guy.