Dwayne Johnson, also known as "The Rock" from his career as a professional wrestler, may be one of the biggest movie stars in the world, but he once seriously considered turning to MMA instead. Shortly after he'd left the WWE to pursue a career in film, Johnson tells the UFC Unfiltered podcast that he was frustrated and considered making the wide leap to MMA as Phil "CM Punk" Brooks is attempting to do, now.
"There was a time there where I thought 'I've acheived everything I wanted to achieve in WWE. My movie career is floundering a little bit, what do I do?'" he remembers.
"I was still relatively young. I think I was 34. I thought, 'oh well, maybe UFC. Maybe I should do something like that.'"
Johnson knew that it would take lots of work for him to compete even at a low level in MMA, to say nothing of what is usually required in terms of skill and experience to compete in the UFC. "In my head, I felt like it was at least a two-year process for me to even get in the [cage], let alone the UFC," he continued.
Ultimately, Johnson said the task seemed too big and foreign to him and he gave up the fighting dreams. "I wasn't quite too sure what to do or what kind of people to put around me at the time, so the idea kind of fizzlsed out and I continued to stay on the path of movie-making," he explained.
Perhaps his immense respect for what MMA athletes do made it all a bit daunting for the wrassler. Even now, Johnson says that he believes there is no more difficult sport than MMA.
"I just feel like it's the toughest [expletive] sport in the world," he concluded.
"I always take my hat off to those guys."