These days, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is much better known for his acting skills outside the wrestling ring than inside it. (We’re only joking, Dwayne – please don’t come after us).
In fact, the former WWE superstar was the highest paid actor in Hollywood last year, raking in a fast and furious $64.5 million (£50m).
But things could have been very different for the San Andreas actor – he just revealed to Jim Norton and Matt Serra on the UFC Unfiltered podcast that, after leaving the WWE in 2004, he’d toyed with the idea of joining the UFC rather than continuing what he then considered to be a somewhat faltering movie career.
He told the hosts: “There was a time there where I thought, ‘Man, I achieved everything I wanted to achieve in WWE, my movie career is floundering a little bit, what do I do?” Johnson told the pair of hosts hosts. “I was relatively still young, I think I was 34. I thought, oh well maybe UFC. Maybe I should do something like that.”
“In my head, I felt like it was at least a two-year process for me to even get in the [cage], let alone the UFC,” Johnson said, who is now 45.
“I wasn’t quite too sure what to do or what kind of people to put around me at the time, so the idea kind of fizzled out and I continued to stay on the path of movie making.”
Looking back now (as well as at his rather hefty bank balance, presumably) it’s clear that The Rock probably made the right decision to pursue those Hollywood dreams – especially after CM Punk’s lightning fast defeat in his first UFC match last September.
Still, while the Rock has now made as many Fast and Furious films as he won solo WWF/WWE championships – that’s eight, by the way – it’s clear there’s a special place in his heart for those who pay their dues inside the ring.
“Anybody, by the way, who is successful in one area and then commits to MMA, I just feel like it’s the toughest fucking sport in the world,” Johnson said during the podcast.
“I always take my hat off to those guys. Still a big fan and love the sport, but at one time, I did consider it.”
Featured Image Credit: PA