If Dana White likes money, he’ll stop his search for CM Punk’s opponent right now.
SportingNews.com- Henderson had the chance to see WWE talent train in MMA. Former WWE champion Daniel Bryan does mixed martial arts training at Henderson’s gym, the MMA Lab in Glendale, Ariz. Bryan used to train at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas under one of the best grappling coaches in the world, Neil Melanson. While he hasn’t trained with Bryan, Henderson is impressed with what he’s seen from him.
“He was out with some injuries in WWE,” Henderson said. “He came to our gym and moved up to blue belt in jiu-jitsu under my coach John Crouch. Every time I go in there, he’s working his butt off. I heard he was pretty strong and actually surprised me with how technical he is. A lot of guys have a hard time learning all those techniques. I heard he was really great at being able to use his technique and not relying on his strength. He’s smooth and does jiu-jitsu really well.”
With Daniel Bryan’s concussion history, I’m obviously joking when I say CM Punk and Bryan should fight in the UFC, but it’s a nice thought.
If you have been following Daniel Bryan’s career, or if you just read his book, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Bryan talks at length about how much he enjoyed training with Neil Melanson, and just training in general. He’s a huge fan of the sport, and was even roommates with Lyoto Machida at the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo. Bryan’s famous “YES” chant was taken from UFC Featherweight Diego Sanchez (featured in the image above), and he’s always showing support for Josh Barnett.
It’s nice when an MMA fighter talks about a professional wrestler the way Benson Henderson speaks about Daniel Bryan, because still, after all these years, mixed martial arts fans have an extreme hatred toward pro wrestling. They view it as an insult to their sport, that has been around for a much shorter period of time than pro wrestling. When people they look up to or admire speak so highly of a wrestler, it helps extend an olive branch.
It’s also great to hear that even though Daniel Bryan isn’t cleared to wrestle, he’s found something else that he loves and he’s doing it. Bryan speaks about his love for wrestling in his book, YES! My Improbable Journey To The Main Event Of Wrestlemania, and it’s not the mindset of a typical wrestler. For Bryan, wrestling keeps him going. He lives for wrestling. It’s everything to him. Learning that he’s focused on jiu jitsu training is awesome.
If he ever wrestles again, it’ll be interesting to see which moves Bryan takes with him into the squared circle. The American Dragon actually worked a heel-hook into a match this past March. Watch it below:
Photo Credit: Daniel Bryan