Karrion Kross Confirms He Nearly Signed MMA Deal Before WWE Return

Karrion Kross has had a busy nine months since being released by the WWE in November 2021 and his subsequent return to the company in August 2022. His return to the independents featured him sporadically appearing on NJPW STRONG, Control Your Narrative, and MLW shows, but in general, had a relatively quiet first half of 2022. However, according to Kross, his lack of notable work in wrestling during this time was due to his ambition to focus on combat sports ahead of his WWE return (via After The Bell).

In his interview with Corey Graves, Kross and his wife, Scarlett, confirmed that he had plans to compete in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship organization on a three-fight deal. Kross was also persuaded by his Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Daniel Gracie to move up to Philadelphia and train to compete in the UFC. However, Kross was hesitant to sign any long-term contracts at the time. "I began to have this fear that I was really beginning to enjoy other things a lot of things more, and some of those could've become contractual," Kross said bluntly, "if they did call back, what was I gonna do?" 

Kross's plans to fight for the BKFC and train to compete in the UFC ultimately got postponed, making his and Scarlett's sudden return to WWE possible. As of now, the "WWE Smackdown" stars both consider the delays a blessing in disguise. "We had a lot of opportunities to sign onto different companies, and nothing ever felt right," Scarlett said, "It's good that we waited."