The following is an excerpt from an interview with former WWE star and movie actor The Rock, discussing his thoughts on MMA and the UFC in particular:
Even without its problems, wrestling has been on the decline, and boxing is certainly not what it used to be. Mixed martial arts, however, are kind of on the rise …
(Laughing) Kind of on the rise?
Well, to be blunt, MMA is blowing wrestling and boxing out of the water right now, right?
Well, I think that there is still great boxing out there, and there are fights coming up that I look forward to seeing. But mixed martial arts is just phenomenal. It is so hot, and it's clear to me why it's so popular. I have a ton of love and respect for those guys. I've become friends with a bunch of those guys and they have my support. I think mixed martial arts requires an amazing athleticism, and those guys must put together a strategy and a game plan every single time they go out and fight because it's not one-dimensional, it's not so predictable. On any given day, the greatest can go down. I think it's really exciting to see the success that MMA is having right now. Everything that that sport provides and all the attention that people are diverting to that entity right now is well-deserved, and it's — well, it's a big deal and I'm excited about it.
Who are your favorite UFC guys?
Randy Couture is a guy who I have the privilege of knowing. Randy's story is just an amazing, incredible story. Did you see his last fight? I mean, his work ethic and his talent is just fantastic. I'm friends with Chuck [Liddell], I love Chuck. And Georges St.-Pierre. And what's so cool is to see guys like that who are knockout artists and they are really actually very, very humble. Georges St.-Pierre is one of those guys who is just so humble. I love seeing that. I think that is so cool, and it's guys like those who are making that sport what it is. They are great faces and representatives of their sport, and you have to appreciate that. I certainly do.
To read the complete interview with The Rock on ESPN's Page 2, click here.