Former Olympic gold medalist and WWE superstar now trains MMA


Gable Steveson's amateur wrestling career was phenomenal. His run as a WWE Superstar was nothing like AJ Styles.

Thanks to his release from WWE, Steveson is reportedly exploring numerous options for his next move and appears to be pursuing a career as a mixed martial artist.

Steveson is reportedly ready to get back into competition with elite athletes. According to Steveson, he trains with elite MMA trainer Henri Hooft and former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler at Kill Cliff FC Ariel Helwani on the MMA Show.

Here's a look at the clip from Wednesday's show:

Steveson, 23, won gold in freestyle wrestling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He is also a two-time Division 1 wrestling champion and a three-time Big Ten champion at the University of Minnesota.

The path to MMA seems natural, but Steveson has several options in the clip. Steveson's representative has been contacted by “multiple NFL teams” interested in giving him a look at training camp.

He could also pursue another year of college wrestling, where NIL deals could put him in a prime position to make money by competing in the sport in which he made his name.

However, training with the likes of Hooft and Lawler would suggest a seriousness associated with his interest in MMA.

Steveson could likely compete at heavyweight or light heavyweight, and given his elite wrestling skills and quick athleticism, he could make an impact almost immediately.

The UFC is the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world, and the promotion also operates under the WWE's TKO umbrella, so this is a viable landing spot.

However, entering UFC competition would mean Steveson jumping into the deep end at the start of his MMA career.

However, there is a plan that Steveson could follow if he signs with the UFC. Bo Nickal, a standout collegiate wrestler, had a professional MMA fight while competing on Dana White's Contender Series in August 2022.

Nearly two years later, Nickal is 6-0 as a pro and was just a part of the main card at UFC 300, arguably the biggest MMA event in history.

Steveson is about two years younger than Nickal was when he began his pro MMA journey – at least from an official competition perspective – so he may be on a slightly slower track.

In any case, there seems to be a way, and Nickal's progress could encourage Steveson to take his professional career in that direction.

Steveson could also start his career in the Professional Fighters League/Bellator, where he may not receive the same attention early on. Nevertheless, he was able to gain experience before moving to the UFC.

This is the path just taken by another former Olympian, Kayla Harrison, when she made a triumphant promotional debut on the same UFC 300 show.

Having Steveson in the MMA mix is ​​exciting, but we're probably early. However, it's an interesting story to keep an eye on for the rest of the year.