Professional Wrestling versus Mixed Martial Arts

December 15, 2017 at 11:19 am Ron Mullinax

Professional Wrestling versus Mixed Martial Arts

Professional Wrestling versus Mixed Martial Arts

Since its legitimization back in 1997, mixed martial arts has become a popular sport with the likes of basketball and boxing. On the other hand, professional wrestling has been in the radar since the 1950s. If the former is considered as a legitimate sport, the latter has had its fair share of struggles when it comes to mainstream acceptance over the years.

Professional wrestling and mixed martial arts are two different sports often lumped together. Sure, the two have their similarities: two gearless fighters go at each other in one ring, with only one man coming out as the sole victor. However, there are plenty of differences that lie in between them.

So, what separates real mixed martial arts from professional wrestling? Let’s take these two sports apart and see how they’re different in the following areas:


Many matches in the pro wrestling ring are seen as a joke to many. Even nonwrestlers have gone on to win world championships! Are there even real professional wrestling matches on television anymore?

Although the fights and results are choreographed, professional wrestling training is no walk in the park. Many, including the most professional of athletes, have tried to take a shot at the ring; however, their attempts have resulted in failure.

It goes without saying that a mixed martial arts match isn’t staged. Each one is based on pure merit alone. Just ask Brock Lesnar who walked away from pro wrestling because he wanted to really go all out and compete in the ring.


Every mixed martial arts fight is a simple, no-frills event; it’s just two competitors trying to best each other in a match. No outrageous storyline is necessary in this sport. Every fight (including undercard matches) is considered significant because they are key in determining future champions.

Meanwhile, no two professional wrestling matches are the same. If one fight is comedic, the other one may be a straight-up brawl. Sometimes, these two are presented together in one showdown. On top of that, you have some colorful characters and costumes in the ring. With its variety, a pro wrestling match is a spectacle that has something in store for everyone.


 A full-time professional wrestler’s calendar is always packed. Imagine having to fight 3 to 4 (or more) times a week with no off-season. Their 250-day travel schedule (which was mellowed down from the previous 300+ dates) does not do any favors either. If pro wrestlers are always occupied, MMA athletes actually have to wait for months for matches.


Because both are physical sports, it’s not a surprised to see a pro wrestler or an MMA fighter limping out of the ring every now and then. However, here lies the difference: if a pro wrestler’s injuries can usually be worked through, mixed martial arts athletes typically receive serious ones that can potentially put their lives in danger. Think about it; even the victor comes out bloodied and bruised.

If you like an all-out brawl without the flash, MMA is for you. However, pro wrestling may tickle your fancy if you’d rather see a highly theatrical spectacle. At the end of the day, what matters is your preference.

What is your stance on the mixed martial arts versus professional wrestling debate? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below. If you’d like to share your thoughts on social media, you can reach me through my Facebook and Twitter profiles. You can also read my book, Fritz von Erich: Master of the Iron Claw, to get to know my favorite professional wrestler better.


VersusBattle. “Pro Wrestling vs. Mixed Martial Arts.” Accessed November 15, 2017.

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