A formerly ranked UFC lightweight has expressed interest in following in Ronda Rousey’s career footsteps down the line.
A decade ago, Rousey was beginning to travel a road that would see her blossom into MMA’s biggest global star. Having had success in the Strikeforce promotion, “Rowdy” was signed by the UFC and immediately took championship status at bantamweight.
Across the next two-and-a-half years, Rousey reigned supreme over the 135-pound division, successfully defending the belt six times. Among the challengers she dispatched were Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, and Bethe Correia.
But after her career in the cage came to an unceremonious end with back-to-back knockout losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, Rousey tried her hand in a new industry — professional wrestling.
Since a surprise appearance at January 2015’s WWE Royal Rumble, Rousey has been a prominent presence in pro-wrestling’s leading organization, where she joined fellow former MMA fighters Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, Matt Riddle, and Shayna Baszler.
While those names are plying their trade on the North American wrestling scene, one active UFC lightweight could make his own name in sports entertainment on the other side of the world in the future.
During an appearance on The Allstar’s Fine Dining w/Fighters series, Brad Riddell was asked about his experience training with budding pro-wrestlers in New Zealand.
Riddell, who held a place in the UFC’s 155-pound rankings prior to his setback against Jalin Turner at UFC 276, described his time at an official New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo in Auckland.
Having received positive reviews on his wrestling potential, Riddell suggested that he could become the “male Ronda Rousey” following his retirement from MMA.
“I trained with a bunch of guys in New Zealand called Falu Dojo. They’re like, a feeder for the Japanese wrestling scene,” Riddell explained. “So they train people in New Zealand and they might get recruited and sent to Japan. So I go there and teach some kickboxing; anything that can go into part of their routine.
“We did wrestling, it’s fun as… Just big lifts and stuff like that, that looks cool. They might or might not have told me that I should wrestle after I retire, so I’m probably gonna be something like the male Ronda Rousey. I’ll just be in Japan people’s elbowing people,” Riddell added. “I will 100% wear tiny undies and wrestle in Japan if that gets me out of doing a job.”
At the age of 30, it stands to reason that Riddell has a lot left to accomplish inside the cage before swapping martial arts for pro-wrestling.
His current focus will be on rebounding from the first losing skid of his career. After a perfect 4-0 start in the UFC left him high up the lightweight ladder, a late knockout loss in a competitive scrap with Rafael Fiziev blemished his promotional slate for the first time.
And having been submitted in just 45 seconds against Turner seven months later, “Quake” will be looking to return to winning ways and place a number next to his name again at UFC 281 on November 12 when he collides with Renato Moicano.
Do you expect more mixed martial artists to try their hand at professional wrestling in the future?
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