It's always fascinating when mixed martial arts (MMA) journalists interview pro wrestlers. There's an ongoing debate on the crossover between the two and while every fan has his/her opinion on the subject, it's far more interesting to hear from folks who have actually worked within the industry.
The latest to offer his thoughts on the matter is Bret Hart, who did a 20-minute interview with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com in which he talked about his love of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), what he thinks of MMA and how safe it is today, and his personal thoughts on the two.
It's an awesome interview. A brief synopsis for those who can't watch is included after the jump.
- Unlike guys like Undertaker and The Rock, who said if the UFC was as big when they first started as it is today they would have gotten into it instead of pro wrestling, Hart says he would have stuck with the business he's always loved. The life of a fighter isn't something he ever wanted and he used pro wrestling to get away from a similar life as an amateur wrestler.
- Bret has referred to MMA as a guilty pleasure of his, which comes from the fact that he was always a bit queasy on how violent it can be. He does say he feels the sport has done a lot to clean things up and make it much safer. This is especially interesting coming from Hart, considering the problems he's had with concussions thanks to his career in pro wrestling.
- Hart is of the mind that UFC and WWE are two separate products that don't necessarily draw heavily on each other's fanbases. "They're two different markets."
- He likes how WWE is much more family oriented today with guys like John Cena at the top of the business.
- Hart's wish is that pro wrestling were more realistic today. He enjoys pro wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, who are legitimate wrestlers and far more technical.
- He believes Muhammed Lawal will be able to do pro wrestling and MMA at the same time. He brings up others having done it before him, like Ken Shamrock.
- When asked who his favorite fighters are, he says he really likes Georges St. Pierre, which shouldn't be surprising. After all, if there's a guy in the entire sport of MMA who is family friendly but one of the very best, it's GSP. He also enjoys watching Jon Jones because he's just such a great fighter. He also talks about being proud of Brock Lesnar switching from pro wrestling to UFC and back and being successful.
Hart also talks about the Montreal Screwjob and his relationship with WWE at this point. Helwani brings up the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw and whether or not Hart will be there but he's coy about revealing as much.
It's a great interview and well worth 20 minutes of your time.