Former UFC fighter and Ultimate Fighter contestant Seth Petruzelli, who is probably best known to casual MMA fans as the man who knocked out Kimbo Slice with a jab in the now defunct EliteXC promotion, recently spoke with FOX Sports about his current job as the striking coach in WWE.
Regarding how he became the head striking coach at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, which is where aspiring developmental talents try and work their way into the main company, Petruzelli stated the following.
“One of my amateur fighters who used to train at my gym, Josh Woods, he was an amateur fighter, 5-0, and he always loved wrestling his whole life,” Petruzelli said. “He was a collegiate and high school wrestler. He went to a tryout for NXT and got accepted into their developmental program. So he’s wrestling for NXT right now, but one of his coaches came up to him and said ‘Look, we know you came from an MMA background and we’re really looking to get a coach to come in here to teach MMA, the jiu-jitsu, the striking, just to get some of our guys better technique and some more realistic moves.’”
Petruzelli also claimed that it was Triple H who actually hired him.
“Triple H really wanted them to get a real look at it,” he said. “MMA is so huge now and people know like, ‘Oh, he dropped his hands’ or ‘Oh, he got caught with a punch’, so they are catching on to the phony stuff. So they really wanted me to teach them the proper footwork, the way to turn your hand over (for a punch), the proper hand and foot combinations, the timing, speed, and about how to keep your hands up to block, how to slip, how to bob and weave. They really wanted the wrestlers to look like they knew what they were doing.”