After winning the gold medal in freestyle wrestling for the US, people wondered where Gable Steveson could be headed next. A cluster of fans was curious to see him inside an MMA cage, but there was also the option for him to go down the pro wrestling route.
The 21-year-old did intend to sit down with UFC president Dana White but he refused to do the chasing. Ultimately, he ended up signing a multi-year deal with the WWE.
Steveson is content with his current career trajectory. But as he told Ariel Helwani in a recent MMA Hour episode, a part of him wishes the UFC did more to try and sign him.
I was hoping Dana would’ve came a lot stronger. I was hoping that he would’ve pushed the pace a little more. I would love to fight. I’m not scared of fighting, I’m not scared of getting punched, I’m not scared of going out there and losing in front of a big crowd or winning in front of a big crowd.
It doesn’t matter to me. I’d go out there to entertain people and for the love of myself to do something that I love. I love fighting and I love the WWE. I love both.
I wish Dana would’ve came a little harder. I wish he had more, like, push on me to go that way. But that time is up for now and I’m 100 percent with Vince McMahon and that team. I’m excited to be where I’m at. There’s no other way I would want to have it.
For now, Steveson is focused on a potentially successful pro-wrestling stint. But that doesn’t mean he’s closing the door on a possible fighting career.
If that time came, I would love to fight. I’ve secured the Olympic gold in wrestling. I think we’ve talked about this before, but why not out there and get the UFC belt?
Despite other athletes going straight to the UFC in the past, the promotion reportedly wanted Steveson to fight in the regional circuit first, before trying to win a contract by eventually joining the Contender Series.