As the worlds of pro wrestling and MMA continue to converge, it’s not hard to find an athlete who is interested in both. Case in point is Ring of Honor wrestler Kyle O’Reilly. Not only is O’Reilly one of the top wrestlers in ROH and on the independent scene, he’s a fan of MMA and has experience with many of its disciplines.
As well as having his own interest in combat sports, O’Reilly has wrestled MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and slated to face former MMA fighters Katsuyori Shibata in ROH, and UFC veteran Matt Riddle at Pro Wrestling Guerilla’s Battle for Los Angeles event in September.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com during a brief break in his busy schedule, O’Reilly spoke about the how he got into combat sports, its influence on his pro wrestling, and getting to work with many of the crossover athletes between the sports.
MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for taking time out for us, Kyle. Tell us how you got into grappling and what it’s done to add to your pro wrestling style.
Kyle O’Reilly: First and foremost, my goal was always to be a pro wrestler, and that’s what I’ve set my sights on since day one. Training in Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and MMA, as a whole, kind of just came as a way to supplement my pro wrestling training.
A couple years into wrestling, I started to experiment with Jiu-Jitsu a little bit and I fell in love with it. It translates so well into my pro wrestling. I felt like the movements and having that legitimate base of submission work and stuff can help to translate to pro wrestling so easily. It was ….View full article