MMA trainer Josh Rafferty says there’s plenty of space in MMA for Ivelisse and other women wrestlers.
The welterweight was interviewed by James Lynch of Fightful, where he states women wrestlers would be welcomed to transition to MMA, if they felt the desire. Rafferty also shared his thoughts on the possibility of Ivelisse moving to MMA. The Lucha Underground staple teased a move to MMA before her status with the wrestling promotion was settled.
Quotes transcribed by Fightful.
“She’d be awesome. She’s a really good pro wrestler. She had some issues with her contract, but there’s a lot of females in pro wrestling that could cross over into MMA. There’s some really athletic girls, super strong and talented on both sides of the camera,” Rafferty told Lynch.
The Ohio native recognizes that some wrestlers wouldn’t see the move to MMA as a positive one, with WWE seen by many as the end goal.
“A lot of people don’t understand, if you can get to WWE in a main roster spot, that’s a big deal. For some people it takes them 10, 13 years to get that spot. Finally you’re making money, achieving your dreams, reaching your goals. I haven’t really talked to that many people about doing it. Unless it’s a lot of money or you had a background like Jack Swagger, I’d say stay in wrestling. It’s a good time to be in pro wrestling. There’s been a big boom for pro wrestling the last couple of years. There’s a lot of opportunities.”
Women wrestlers who have made the jump between MMA and pro wrestling are Jessamyn Duke, Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, Sumie Sakai, Lei’D Tapa, and Syuri. Though it’s pointed out by Fightful that there isn’t many women who have worked both combat sports, it could be said that the number of women in both sports, in a professional spot, is much smaller than the number of men.
Rafferty is best known for participating in the first season of UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter”. He has been inactive in the octagon, but continues to train within MMA.
Readers can see the entire interview here.
Who would you like to see make a move between MMA and pro wrestling?