This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission

Can Wrestling Turn into MMA?

Last Updated: 04.07.22


If you still do not have all the pieces of equipment necessary to start wrestling, we recommend that you check out our recent post as it is packed with suggestions you might want to try. In this short article, we have decided to talk to you about whether or not wrestling can turn into MMA. So, if this topic stirs your interest, keep reading!


The basics

As you might already know, both wrestling and MMA combine various grappling and takedown techniques. In both cases, the fights/matches are competitions that test the ability of the fighter to overcome the opponent.

In the case of wrestling, matches may often look similar to each other because the fighters stick to techniques that are somewhat limited compared to MMA, which employ moves from various other combat sports.


In a wrestling match, there are five distinct ways to score points. A takedown or the action of taking one’s opponent to the mat and controlling him/ her is worth two points. An escape or the ability to get away from your competitor after he/she has you down on the mat is worth one point.

A reversal consists of you overpowering your opponent by gaining control while he/she has you down and, when performed correctly, it can also bring you two points. A near fall is when you almost get your opponent pinned. It is worth between 2 and 3 points, depending on how long the fall lasts.

Finally, wrestlers can also be awarded between one and two penalty points if one’s opponent commits rule violations during the match. There are also numerous technical violations that you should be aware of while wrestling.



In the case of MMA, the scoring system is different. A match consists of three, and, in special cases, five rounds that do not last more than five minutes each. In between rounds, a one-minute break is compulsory.

The match is judged by three judges. Each round is scored by the judges. The fighter that shows dominance and is considered the winner of a round receives 10 points, while the other receives 9 or less. If judges consider that the round ended in a tie, both fighters are awarded 10 points.

The referee has the ability to deduce penalty points from the score of the judges in case he/she observes a series of offenses. At the end of the match, each judge has to submit the points he/she has awarded. The majority decision ultimately wins. MMA matches can also end with a KO or TKO.


Can a wrestler transition into MMA?

The short answer to this question is yes. In fact, there are numerous cases where successful wrestlers became MMA fighters. According to specialists, there are a couple of reasons why successful MMA fighters should also master the art of wrestling.

Firstly, a wrestler has a better ability to control a fight. As some say, the rules of MMA are almost tailor-made for wrestlers. High MMA scores are achieved by those fighters who know how to strike/grapple and how to control the opponent.

Because of the rules, one has to abide by when wrestling if he/she transitions to MMA, he/she will certainly impress the judges with one’s ability to score points naturally.

Secondly, wrestling is a sport that helps one build endurance. In wrestling culture, training until you have nothing to give left is a golden rule. The atmosphere in most wrestling academies is quite tense as all fighters are expected to give it all when on the mat.

Therefore, because they already know how to push themselves to the limit, wrestlers often have no difficulties when it comes to learning MMA techniques. Also, given their work ethic, they make great students and amazing fighters.

Another aspect that makes wrestlers good MMA fighters is their experience in competitions. From a young age, wrestlers are encouraged to take part in tournaments and, consequently, they feel comfortable in stressful situations.

Plus, because they have so many matches under their belts, and because they are so accustomed to the spotlight, they feel great when on display during a fight. The same cannot be same for fighters that have a background in Muay Thai and BJJ, as they have fewer opportunities when it comes to competing in high-level tournaments.

Although wrestling is regarded as one of the best bases for MMA, if you are not a wrestler, this should not discourage you in any way. After all, if you train intelligently and have the necessary determination, you can always achieve the desired results.

Success stories

Brock Lesnar is maybe one of the best-known wrestlers turned MMA competitor. He stands out because he has won both the UFC and the WWE world championships. What is more, he is also a former professional football player.  

He won the WWE championship after no more than five months after he debuted as a professional wrestler at age 25. In 2006 he transitioned to MMA where he enjoyed plenty of success. After winning the UFC championship, he returned to wrestling. He is currently regarded as the most accomplished athlete in the history of wrestling.

Bobby Lashley and Dan Severn are also wrestlers that have won championships in both wrestling and MMA.



Although there are many wrestlers who turned MMA fighters, there is a rivalry between the two sports. It is generally believed that pro wrestlers are stronger, while UFC fighters have better stamina. However, opinions vary depending on the point of view one wants to bring across.


What are the benefits of martial arts?

No matter if you decide to learn wrestling or MMA techniques, you should be aware of all the benefits that learning martial arts come with. Firstly, learning martial arts can teach you about the importance of accountability.

While practicing these sports, each fighter learns that he/she has to take responsibility for all the things that happen while on the mat. After all, no matter how good one’s instructor is, at the end of the day, one loses or wins depending on one’s abilities.

Another important lesson that martial arts can teach you is humility. Because these are one-to-one sports, you will quickly learn to accept your failures and to move forward. This way, you will be more interested in perfecting your techniques and increasing your stamina and strength.

Apart from this, martial arts can help one be more respectful toward others. As one evolves and starts to master certain techniques, he/she becomes aware of the hard work his/her opponent has also put in to reach the same level of skill. Additionally, these sports also help create a sense of friendship and trust between all the fighters and their instructors.

Numerous practitioners have also pointed out that martial arts are a great and interesting way to lose weight. In fact, studies have shown that during a six-minute intense match, one can burn no less than 400 calories. Besides, these sports can help you develop mental toughness, which is a skill that you will need when confronted with difficult situations in everyday life.

Lastly, martial arts are a great way to learn skills that can help you protect yourself when necessary. After years of practice, you will be able to react instinctively and to block any hits that might harm you.



Leave a comment

0 Comments Protection Status