Chuck Liddell is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and was recently inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. He was part of an era that included Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, both of whom crossed over into pro wrestling during their careers.
Liddell was an amateur wrestler in college but never gave pro wrestling a shot. However, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t given the chance as he told comicbook.com when asked if Vince McMahon ever reached out to him about joining WWE.
“No. Actually, I used to hang out with Shane McMahon every once in a while, we would go out and party sometimes. Good dude. And he said ‘If you’re ever seriously interested about coming over we should talk.’ But, you know I never really… I love fighting and I love being in real fighting and I mean I got nothing against WWE. I wouldn’t mind doing that now too. It’s just acting, going out and doing the acting. That’s more like acting,” stated Liddell. “Those guys, they’re very…it’s a lot of training for those guys. Those guys do some pretty impressive things in the ring as far as… I mean it’s all staged, but it’s still you know, it’s not easy.
“One of the things I’ve always had with that sport too, is… the difference between my sport and their things. See you’re putting your trust in the other guy not to hurt you – surrendering your body to him. Like, throw you and hope he doesn’t hurt you. In my sport, I’m responsible for you not hurting me. I like having the responsibility on my end not yours.”
In recent years more and more MMA fighters have crossed over into pro wrestling and others, like Daniel Cormier, have teased making the jump to the ring. Liddell was asked why there has been such an influx of mixed martial artists into wrestling.
“I think you bring the fan base with you. And then, if you can get out there and perform and do your [stuff], it’s a little more over the top. I mean you see a lot of that with the fighters nowadays in the UFC. Seems like they’re taking a cue from the WWE guys, some of them,” said Liddell.
“You just get a little more over the top with the guys. Some things you’ve done before. You’ve faced-off with people, you’ve talked s? to guys. There’s a lot of going back and forth. I think to do that it’s just setting if you’re willing to get out there and perform.”