By Rafael Bandayrel
Former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir will be the latest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter to crossover to pro wrestling.
According to MMAFighting.com’s Dave Meltzer, Mir will be performing for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport – a “staged but very stiff and more realistic-looking version pro wrestling.”
Mir will have over two months to learn the ins and outs of the squared circle before his debut on Apr. 4 at White Eagle Hall, in New Jersey, NJ.
Meltzer added that Bloodsport will be held on elevated mats but with no ropes, based on the fighting surface in the 1988 martial arts movie of the same name.
The promotion’s most recent event took place last April in New Orleans. The show featured former UFC fighters Matt Riddle, Tom Lawlor, and Dan Severn, along with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) legend Minoru Suzuki.
This decade saw multiple instances of pro wrestlers shifting to MMA and vice versa. The biggest example of this is when former UFC megastar Ronda Rousey switched careers and joined World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) early last year.
Following Rousey’s footsteps was ex-UFC welterweight Riddle who now competes in WWE’s developmental brand NXT.
Meantime, Cain Velasquez recently expressed his desire to work with the WWE in the future as well.
“It’s an opportunity that I wanted to do,” he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, “and I would like to work with them even more so in the future.”
On the flipside, former WWE stars CM Punk and Jack Swagger left pro wrestling to test their skills in real combat. Punk, also known as Phil Brooks, fought and lost twice in the Octagon before being cut by the UFC. Meanwhile, Swagger – whose real name is Jake Hager – is set to make his debut for Bellator on Jan. 26 against JW Kiser.