Taking a look at Samoa Joe's professional wrestling career, it's easy to see how mixed martial arts have influenced his career, from the look of his character to his discovered rear choke finisher called Coquina Clutch.
Joe, a native of Orange County, California, whose real name is Nuufolau Joel Seanoa, has also spent a great deal of time over the years near the sport training the various disciplines of kickboxing and jujitsu to judo and Muay Thai
"I had the great fortune that some of my best friends, a lot of relatives and some people that I consider very close have been constantly involved in MMA throughout its history, from its beginnings until now. days, "Joe, 38, told CBS Sports. "I've always been a member of a gym, I've always been in a team [fighting] or another.
" [MMA] has always been a presence in my life. Having said that, I love what I do. I love professional wrestling and I love sports entertainment. "
Joe, who was invited on Monday in" In This Corner Podcast ", has so much respect for the sport, in fact, that he has it behind the idea of crossing the border. WWE's current and former superstars, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Bobby Lashley and, very soon, Jack Swagger, all have debuted in MMA over the last decade, I do not see Joe following in his footsteps.
, at this point in my career, knowing what my friends and my close family go through training and sacrifice, I think it would be false for them to tell me, "Oh, well, I'm going to take this fame and put it in a fight race, "said Joe." I know other people have done it, and I do not blame them. I think it's amazing, I think you should follow your dreams and do what you want to do.
"But on the other extreme, I have been part of these training camps for many of these guys, I have seen the struggles and the anguish and pain that comes with being in the fighting game. and they have seen the pain, the sacrifice, the non-stop journey that is successful in the world of sports entertainment, there is a tremendous amount of mutual respect there for that. "
Considering how close they are in theory, professional wrestling and MMA have long seen a crossover, both in the US UU As in Japan. of the UFC in the 1990s helped early MMA pioneers like Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn and David "Tank" Abbott to find work at WWF and WCW.
In recent times the trend has reversed, producing varying degrees of success for the highest profile fighters looking to park their fame in a new sport.
Due to his abnormal size, athleticism and legitimate background in amateur wrestling, Lesnar rose to the height of winning the UFC heavyweight championship in 2008. Punk, meanwhile, in what looked like a work of passion at 38, lasted just over two minutes in a unilateral defeat in 2016 in his only professional fight.
"I think it would be irresponsible for me to say that I'm ready to start a wrestling race at this point," Joe said. "For me, if I wa s, it would be a cash-in. I would not like to enter to be the heavyweight champion, I would like to enter it simply for monetary reasons, for me, if you're not in it to be a champion, you should not be at all. "
Joe is currently promoting the new edition No. 13 of the comic series of the WWE Boom Studios that premieres in January. 17. He co-wrote the short story entitled "Unselected" with Michael Kingston, which describes Joe's real life journey from the NXT Chronicle to the WWE Main List in 2017.
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