Did Shinsuke Nakamura fight in MMA? Learn about the time when he was offered a UFC contract 



Shinsuke Nakamura is known for his time in WWE and NJPW but he fought in MMA and even was offered a deal by the UFC 

Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the biggest Japanese wrestlers presently having made his name in NJPW and WWE.

The 43-year-old is known as The King of Strong Style, and that name isn’t just for his wrestling style which is very hard-hitting. Nakamura uses a lot of knees and kicks in his wrestling moveset and even his finisher, the Kinshasa is a sight to behold.

Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura against Jinder Mahal at SmackDown (WWE)

The Japanese star is one of the toughest fighters in the world, but he also had a short MMA career.

Not many would know but during his time in NJPW, he fought Daniel Gracie in his debut fight all the way back in 2002.

Nakamura was defeated by Gracie but he picked up wins over Jan Nortje and Shane Eitner. The next fight was a no-contest against Alexey Ignashov and then he drew against the legendary Ken Shamrock.

His last MMA fight was a rematch against Ignashov, which he won. Nakamura ended his MMA career with a 3-1-1 record, one fight being a no-contest.

Did Shinsuke Nakamura fight in the UFC?

Shinsuke Nakamura did not fight in the UFC. However, the Japanese star was offered a deal by Dana White’s company.

While speaking to the Hindustan Times a few years back, the Japanese star confirmed that he was offered a deal to join the biggest MMA promotion in the world.

Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura won the WWE SmackDown Tag Team titles at Extreme Rules
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura won the SmackDown Tag Team titles at Extreme Rules

Nakamura claimed that the UFC offered him a deal to join them in 2005. However, he was under contract with NJPW and decided to stay with them. He added that it was a great chance, but he had no regrets sticking to professional wrestling. 

“Around 2005, UFC offered me a chance to fight for them. 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.”

The King of Strong Style gave this interview in 2017 and was asked if he was keen to return to MMA.

However, Nakamura turned that idea down due to his age. He was 37 at the time and added that it would take him at least a year to prepare himself for a fight. He added that he was happy in WWE.

Nakamura isn’t the only wrestling star to have tried their hand in the MMA world. Ronda Rousey, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Matt Riddle, Jake Hager and Shayna Baszler are just some others to have wrestled and fought in MMA. 

Lesnar and Rousey remain two of the biggest stars to have won titles in both fields. 

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