The Rock said he didn't try to join the UFC after leaving WWE because he hates getting punched in the face
- The Rock contemplated pro-fighting when his career in wresting seemed like it was at a dead end.
- But he said he did not pursue MMA for fear of getting his face rearranged in the Octagon.
The 49-year-old, whose real name is Dwayne Johnson, is one of the most successful people to have worked for the pro wrestling firm WWE, having left the business to become a Hollywood movie star.
Standing six-feet and five-inches tall and weighing 260-pounds, The Rock would have been a heavyweight had he ever attempted mixed martial arts,
But speaking on ABC this week, the actor said: "I would have gotten my face smashed in and I like my jaw where it's at."
—SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2022
In a separate tweet, The Rock elaborated on the notion of him crossing over from sports entertainment to combat sports.
He said he considered his options when MMA was still in its infancy. "There was a point in 1997 where I considered going to Japan to train to begin an MMA career, when my wrestling career was failing miserably."
The Rock added that he "realized quick I actually hate being punched in the kisser."
Other WWE superstars did make the transition from pro wrestling to the Octagon, albeit with contrasting results.
Brock Lesnar, an 11-time world heavyweight champion in wrestling, became heavyweight champion in the UFC in his fourth fight when he knocked Randy Couture out at UFC 91 in 2008.
CM Punk, a modern-day WWE icon, also left the pro wrestling company to compete in the UFC, but lost on his debut to Mickey Gall. He then returned a no contest in his second, and currently last, fight with the firm.
The Rock announced a partnership with UFC this week
The Rock's comments regarding MMA follow a week in which he announced a partnership with the market-leading company in the sport.
The multi-year agreement is called "Project Rock" and regards a global footwear deal that sees UFC athletes and their corner teams outfitted in Project Rock apparel.
"UFC athletes are amongst the greatest, toughest, focused, most disciplined and hardest training athletes on the planet," he said recently, in a statement sent to Insider.
"Every walk to the iconic Octagon by a UFC fighter is fueled with passion, mana, and the deep desire to establish their dominance and legacy.
"I am proud, grateful and humbled that my innovative Project Rock training shoe is now the official global footwear partner of UFC."
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