A few decades ago, professional wrestling was viewed in the same light as Mixed Martial Arts with bouts seen as legitimate athletic contests rather than scripted encounters. While the outcomes may have been as coordinated as todayâ€™s WWE product, the men who delivered them were truly tough with many possessing legitimate mat-skills.
During a recent interview with Ric Flair, one of wrestlingâ€™s legitimate legends, â€œThe Nature Boyâ€ was asked for his thoughts on MMA, admitting he himself would have never given it a go in the Octagon but he knew a few of his peers from yesteryear who would have done well if able to dish out legitimate beatingsâ€¦
â€œNo, I wouldnâ€™t (go into MMA). I will watch MMA if someone I know is actually in it, but all the guys I know personally are gone. Chuck Liddellâ€™s gone â€” heâ€™s a good friend. Tito Ortiz is gone â€” heâ€™s a good friend too. Brock Lesnar is gone. The other guys now, I donâ€™t watch, because I donâ€™t care about them. But Iâ€™ll tell you: I have been in matches with Bruiser Brody that were tougher than any MMA match! Especially in Tokyo. Same thing with Stan Hansen. Try getting in the ring with him one time in Tokyo, brother. Good lord!â€
â€œAnd F.Y.I., nobody in MMA could have beaten Harley Race or Dick Slater. Those guys were just that tough. And remember Haku? Donâ€™t ever think that anybody would mess with Haku. If he was a young guy and he got into MMA, my god â€” heâ€™d have done everything! He was the toughest son of a bitch Iâ€™ve ever met in my whole life. No lie, take my word for it.â€
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PHOTO CREDIT: TNA