You Won’t Find Many NCAA Wrestlers Who Also Boast An Ability To Outdance Your Favorite Dance Crew; Ironically Enough, Campbell University Has Two. Twins Chris And Justin Rivera Claim To Be The Best Dancers In NCAA History And Look To Put On A Show At UFC FIGHT PASS’s Battle At Bragg Wrestling Event.
He’s mastered two of the furthest skills from one another and too content to go for anything in between.
Chris Rivera of Campbell University was born into a life of combat sports. His mom was a kickboxer and his dad was a boxer, so it’s no wonder how he ended up a Division 1 wrestler. The Florida native may embody everything a wrestler stands for on the mat, but his secondary skills are slightly off the beaten path.
Chris and his twin brother, Justin, pride themselves on their breakdancing ability as much as Chris takes pride in his four State Wrestling Championships.
“Besides wrestling, me and my brother are pretty good dancers,” Rivera laughed. “You can ask anybody on the team. Here and there when we’re training and music is playing, we have to hit some dance moves.”
Specializing in “The Dougie,” Rivera has spent the last 12 years mastering a dance that has largely been left in 2010, but just can’t help himself. He has even found there to be medical benefits of the dance.
“If the song comes on, it’s just natural. I don’t tell my body to do it,” Rivera explained. “Everyone knows me for my Dougie. Once I hear that come on, I have to hit the Dougie a couple times and get the shoulders loose. It warms the body up at the exact same time.”
Just as striking and a love for combat sports runs in Rivera’s blood, the son of a break-dancer feels he may have been secretly born with the gift of dancing. It only took the help of a 21% Tomato meter-rated movie to unearth his love for dancing, and the rest is history for the Rivera twins.
“Out of nowhere me and my brother watched that movie Step Up, that break dancing movie, and we loved it,” Rivera said. “Ever since then, when we were young, we would dance battle all the time. We just got to the point where we got really good. We wouldn’t train it or nothing, we just got really, really good. I think I was just born with it, to be honest.”
Rivera’s mastery of a skill that historically doesn’t closely tie to wrestling means that teammates, fans, opponents and others might be slow to appreciate his skillset. Thanks to his infectious positivity and entertaining personality, it isn’t long before they come around.
“There are some people that’ll be like, ‘Yo, knock it off,’” Rivera explained. “You have that, but there’s also the people that’ll go along with it and hype it up and stuff. I feel like it just depends on the person.”
The small amount of wrestlers turned dancers in the sport means that Rivera feels he’s easily the best break-dancer in all of the NCAA.
In addition to etching his name in NCAA glory, Rivera also looks forward to a day where he can not only leave a legacy in wrestling, but make a name for himself and his brother in breakdancing, venture into MMA and, most importantly, forget Head Coach Scotti Sentes’ attempt to match the Rivera dance moves.
“Sentes, oh man. I saw him dance once and I had to say a quick prayer after that,” Rivera said. “I was like, I don’t know what I just witnessed. ‘Bad’ doesn’t even do it. It was horrific. I thought about transferring the next day.”
Will Rivera hit a Dougie after a strong performance at Battle At Bragg? You’ll have to sign up for UFC FIGHT PASS to find out.
Catch Battle At Bragg Friday, November 11, LIVE from the historic Fort Bragg, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!