Steveson says he received hatred from MMA fans after WWE signing
Gable Steveson has revealed the hatred he received online for choosing to sign with WWE instead of venturing into mixed martial arts.
One of the hottest topics of the summer was Steveson’s future. The 21-year-old’s action rose rapidly after winning gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the freestyle discipline, Steveson defeated three-time reigning world champion Geno Petriashvili to secure his place. on the top step of the podium.
In the months since his Olympic success, Steveson teased a switch to various sports and promotions. Making the most of free agency, the new combat sports sensation showed up at the Bellator 265, appeared at a PFL event, and turned heads with a segment at WWE SummerSlam last month. He even flirted with a potential signing with the UFC.
But on September 4, Steveson finalized his immediate future. After productive conversations with Vince McMahon, the promising young athlete chose to join WWE. And while he remains open to a stint on MMA’s bigger stage later, Steveson told Ariel Helwani during a recent episode of MMA time that he signed up to WWE.
“Right now I’m 100% WWE. And I probably will be forever. It would be cool to hold the UFC belt, like I said before. I know there are a lot of people on Twitter, ‘Oh, he’s sweet. He didn’t want to go to the UFC right away. But I want to make my own way. I don’t want to follow what no one else is doing. I don’t even read the comments on Twitter anymore. They are just awful.
Asked about the negative comments he received on Twitter, Steveson revealed the amount of hatred he received for promoting the switch to pro wrestling over MMA. But like many Olympic wrestlers before him, the Indiana native believes he can win UFC gold in the future.
“I just get a lot of hate, you know? People are just like, ‘Oh, you wanna go here and do this instead of fighting somebody? You are sweet.’ But you know how it goes. This is typical of haters. But I mean, if that moment came I would love to fight. I won Olympic gold in wrestling… why not go out there and get the UFC belt?
After Gable Steveson announced his decision, the UFC’s plans for him if the promotion secured his signing were revealed. Reports suggest the 21-year-old has been taken into care under a development deal. Similar to the deal Greg Hardy signed in 2018, the signing reportedly saw Steveson compete on the regional circuit before competing for a contract on Dana White’s Contender series.
But ignoring these potential plans, Steveson followed Daniel Cormier’s advice. “DC” had suggested that his fellow wrestler’s best chance for success was to follow the “Brock Lesnar approach”. According to the former UFC two-division champion, Steveson is expected to move on to the UFC once he makes a name for himself and increases his value in WWE.
With the first part of that plan now in motion, it remains to be seen whether the bright prospect will enter the Octagon later in his career.
Who do you think Gable Steveson should have signed for? Do you agree with his decision to put pen to paper with WWE?