8 Major Ways MMA Is Influencing WWE

MMA has barged its way into the limelight - especially in WWE over the past few years. Here's how.

WWE.com

Tune into WWE programming today, and you'll see a clear difference from other eras. The changes are numerous, just as any long-term product evolves over the years - but one of the most important is surely the increasing influence of Mixed Martial Arts.

For many years, the two were natural enemies. Although there has been some crossover, many MMA fans derided (and still deride) WWE for its reputation as the biggest promoter of 'fake fighting' in the world. Equally, numerous pro wrestling fans failed to see the appeal in companies such as the UFC, criticising the action as often uneventful - something which pro wrestling is obviously far better-equipped to avoid.

In recent times, however, as MMA has grown thanks to UFC megstars such as Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and - of course - multiple WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, Vince McMahon and co. have been far more willing to incorporate aspects of the sport into their own product.

From subtle changes such as commentary and visual presentation to far more overt examples - like the landmark appearance of Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 31 - MMA's creeping influence on pro wrestling's grandest stage is undeniable. Here are the biggest examples.

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