Shinsuke Nakamura Talks About His MMA Career, Turning Down UFC Offer In 2005

Anyone who has seen Shinsuke Nakamura wrestle is well aware of the fact that the Japanese pro wrestling legend is well-versed in MMA-based skills, mixing a strike-heavy style with submission grappling holds popularized by the fastest growing sport in the world.

Nakamura, who has compiled a pro MMA record of 3-1 while mixing pro wrestling and MMA careers in Japan, revealed during a recent interview that he was once invited to fight in the UFC.

“Around 2005, UFC offered me a chance to fight for them,” Nakamura told The Hindustan Times during a recent interview. “But, at that moment, I was under contract with NJPW and I decided to stay in pro-wrestling. It was a good opportunity, but I don’t regret my choice.”

As the interview continued, Nakamura was then asked if he there is any chance that he would consider making the transition back to the MMA world before he calls it a career.

As the Japanese legend explained, it would take a lot of preparation and at this stage of his life at age 37, as well as his career, as he is finally working on the big stage in the U.S. via WWE, and because of those reasons, it doesn’t seem likely.

“You have to understand that I am 37-year old now,” said the former NXT World Champion and current SmackDown Live roster member. “It has been a long time since my last proper MMA training and although I still train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu,” said Nakamura.

“It [would] take me at least one year to be ready for a proper fight,” Nakamura added. “That is not something I want to do as I am happy in WWE.”

Check out the complete Shinsuke Nakamura interview at

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