AEW star Bryan Danielson joined The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to promote tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite. In addition to wrestling, the two talked about MMA, a sport that has influenced Danielson’s style in a multitude of ways. Danielson once again confirmed he adopted the “Yes!” chant from MMA fighter Diego Sanchez.

“Yeah, for sure,” Danielson said. “I first saw Diego Sanchez when he was on the Ultimate Fighter. I think that’s when a lot of people first saw him, right? And he’d come to the cage and do, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ I took note of it. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s so cool or whatever.’ And they (WWE) wanted me to be so over the top. I was the underdog who inexplicably won the WWE Championship in less than noble fashion. And they just wanted me to be super excited about it and a little bit annoying. And the first thing I thought of was, ‘Man if I really took that over, it could be a lot of fun.’ But I never dreamed it would take on a life of its own, which it kind of did.”

Danielson also confirmed that he had met Sanchez and that Sanchez had approved of the chant. On the subject of possibly doing an MMA fight, much like fellow AEW star CM Punk has done, Danielson was less bullish. He did, however, praise Punk for trying his hand at MMA.

“No,” Danielson said of doing a fight. “That’s just not how I’m wired. I was super proud of him, because it’s such a huge leap. And Punk is somebody who, it’s not like ever did super competitive sports. It’s very different from Brock Lesnar jumping to UFC, who has a high-level amateur wrestling background, who’s just a monster of a human being as far as physique-wise and athletic ability-wise. To be kind of famous and then to then just put yourself out there like that, I thought it was really, really cool. I’m someone who, I kind of flirt with the idea of doing an MMA fight. And then my wife will tell me, ‘What a bad idea!'”

Danielson was also asked if MMA had influenced his style, which he confirmed. From his perspective, he tries to take the technique of certain MMA practices and apply it to wrestling, allowing him to look more realistic as a performer.

“Yeah, 100%,” Bryan Danielson said of MMA influencing him. “I also think, to me, wrestling is kind of like a combat theater, right? MMA is like a very — if you’re looking at martial arts, it’s the very martial aspect of it, very warlike and competitive. Pro wrestling is very artistic, much more on the artistic spectrum. But one of the things I do think is that people watching — and they might not be able to identify it — can tell if something really looks like it hurts or doesn’t look like it hurts. And if you’re using real technique that really manipulates joints, it’s like ‘hey, that’s how you’d really take someone down.’ I try to implement more of those things into my style because even if people can’t mentally process why, they understand, ‘Oh that makes sense.’

“I think one of the things that really helped me in WWE, despite being so much smaller than so many of the other WWE wrestlers, is that a lot of the stuff that I do, I could do to many people. People would believe me. I’d get my butt kicked for a long period of time, but when it was time for me to come back, the stuff that I would do would be believable. And there’s obviously more of the theater aspect of it. You’d never do a top rope dropkick in a fight. Although that Anthony Pettis lives on for eternity.”

You can watch the full interview below.

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