I was thinking about that because there is a lot of respect for catch wrestling in mma. I don't know if hulk hogan could actually fight. But it would be cool to put him in anyway.
Bam Bam Bigelow and Sean O'Haire tried it too...and believe it or not so did Santino Marella
he was KO'd in 0:26
The most obvious examples would be Shamrock and Severn
I don't know if hulk hogan could actually fight. But it would be cool to put him in anyway.
Hogan trained with Hiro Matsuda, who was known for his very stiff (Legitimately hard hitting) style of wrestling and training. He might've had some functional knowledge of shootfighting techniques. According to legend, Matsuda purposely broke Hogan's leg on their first day of training but the Hulkster came back for more after healing.
I forgot to mention Tony Halme (Ludvig Borga in the WWF) fought Randy Couture in their respective UFC debuts. In addition to wrestling, Halme was a Finnish boxing champion who defeated the likes of Iran Barkley:
Here's a good list of pro wrestlers who were legit shooters:
Just a little more insight on some of the challenges that were thrown around back in the day:
Funny how basically everybody in UFC 1 had a serious competitive background (Not counting the alternates Trent Jenkins and Jason DeLucia) while quite a few of the fighters in UFC 2 were basically dojo queens. Art Davie and Rorion received hundreds of applications the second time around and actually had the luxury of turning people down, but ended up letting in some dudes who just weren't prepared for a fight under ANY ruleset. I'd love to see some of the rejected applications (Supposedly, one guy who signed up claimed his only credential was that he was from Compton). Obviously the point was to represent an even more diverse range of disciplines than the last show, which is why the UFC 2 tournament had sixteen fighters rather than eight.
By UFC 3 the promoters realized most of the people buying pay-per-views weren't actually martial artists, so they started putting in guys like Kimo and Emmanuel Yarborough to cater to the Just Bleed crowd. They also started promoting the feud angle between Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, but that failed to culminate in the tournament.
In any case, as a professional sportsperson, he might well have tried to do some research on his opponents beforehand. Something nobody else seemed to have done.
I saw that Gokor Chivichyan was mentioned earlier. I would imagine he would have done rather well. Even possibly taken the whole thing.
Just to clarify my post about UFC 2 and break down the fighters who competed:
- Besides Royce, Pat Smith and Jason Delucia were the only fighters to return from the first event. Both fighters had lost to grapplers in the past (Smith to Ken Shamrock in UFC 1 and DeLucia to Royce in the Gracie Challenge), so they actually knew what to expect when they entered the cage. Both had cross-trained in grappling, and although their abilities were limited compared to Royce, they might as well have been wearing brass knuckles when going against the other fighters in the event.
- Muay Thai fighter Orlando Weit and Daido Juku fighter Minoki Ichihara were the highest level strikers in the tournament. Back in the day, Muay Thai fighters had a reputation of being more-or-less the toughest around in the martial arts community, so Weit was regarded as an early favorite besides Royce. Ichihara had brought the Japanese press along with him, which was important for propagating the growth of Vale Tudo/NHB-style MMA in that country (As opposed to shootfighting, where strategies like ground-and-pound were not widely used).
- SAMBO fighter Freek Hamaker and JJJ/Judo player Remco Pardoel were the best grapplers in the event besides Royce. Watching the two fight in their respective bouts, you can appreciate how Royce's prior Vale Tudo experience made him different than a pure sport grappler fighting in MMA for the first time. Hamaker and Pardoel were able to defeat the kickboxers and traditional martial artists they fought but clearly had trouble adapting to an NHB environment. This is in spite of the fact that Pardoel actually had bonafide BJJ experience training with Fabio Gurgel and Romero Cavalcanti.
- In terms of achievement, Johnny Rhodes and Robert Lucarelli were a peg below the other six fighters I just mentioned. They were both tough dudes with a lot of full-contact experience, but neither was particular well-known or accomplished. There were a lot of middle-of-the-pack fighters like them in the UFC back in the day. Lucarelli was a flabby kickboxer with some wrestling experience, while Rhodes was a karateka/kickboxer with bareknuckle experience. Interesting to note was that Rhodes was a late replacement for Ken Shamrock, and entered the tournament with a broken finger he had received in an underground fight.
- Finally, at the bottom of the barrel, you had the dojo queens. Many of these fighters did display toughness, but clearly lacked any functional combat skill (With a few exceptions:
Ray Wizard was a karate point fighter with maybe a smidgen of full-contact experience. Omega punked him once at a tournament.
Sean Daugherty was an eighteen-year-old Taekwondo instructor. He actually did have a kickboxing record, but was still just a kid stepping into the cage with real grown men.
Thaddeus Luster was a San Soo kung-fu fighter. San Soo, not to be confused with San Shou, is a style that prides itself on its heavy use of teh deadly.
David Levicki was a chunner who claimed he knew how to snap peoples' necks thanks to his Special Forces training. He apparently had some kickboxing training and was the largest fighter in the tournament (6'5" and 270 lbs), so he was a threat.
Scott Morris was a ninja from Texas with no previous competition experience. Robert Bussey's "American Ninjutsu" style seemed to bestow him with some grappling techniques that actually worked, so his performance wasn't as laughable as you would expect from a ninja (At least in his first fight...). Steve Jennum and Jeremy Horn were also students of Bussey's school.
Scott Baker was a chunner in a karate gi. Like Levicki, he also might've had some kickboxing experience. Baker claims he wore the gi to advertise a friend's school.
Alberto Cerra Leon was a Pencak Silat fighter from Spain. He claimed he once won a Silat tournament by breaking all of his opponents' legs. After he lost, he supposedly burst into tears in the locker room.
At the very bottom of the heap was poor Fred Ettish, a karate grandmaster and alternate for the event. He's usually credited as the sacrificial lamb of traditional martial arts to MMA. Something not typically mentioned about him is that he may have not been the only alternate fighter on hand. UFC 1 participant and local Denver resident Trent Jenkins might've also been available to fill in a spot if it was necessary. If only Rorion had decided to put Jenkins into the cage instead, Ettish might've been spared the fifteen years of humiliation he suffered after his defeat.
I would've liked to see Ramon Dekkers in UFC 1. Since its the Gracies, it also seemed like they should've had someone representing the style "strongman" or "powerlifting". Some hugely strong guy that didn't actually practice martial arts. Also would've liked to see Paul Vunak.