College student by day, cage fighter by night.
21-year-old Don Doyle of American Kombat Alliance is already 2-0 as a professional mixed martial artist. In a world where the Chase Hoopers of the world seem to be getting younger and younger, you would think that being 2-0 as a professional wouldn’t be that brow raising for a 21-year-old. But not many of them are making their fourth walk to the cage a couple months before their college wrestling season starts.
The undefeated knockout artist wrestles for the Texas Wesleyan Rams. Going into his junior season for the Rams, the rest of the NAIA may think they’re in the clear with only two years of eligibility left. Unfortunately for them there’s a lot of Doyle left to go around.
“Technically, I have four years of eligibility left because COVID gave us a new year,” Doyle said. “I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to go through that - I’ll cross that bridge when it gets there - but I’m a double major in business administration and computer information services. I’ll have two bachelor’s degrees after, but the cool thing is with NAIA is you can wrestle through grad school so that’s going to be pretty tempting, I’m not going to lie.”
To even further highlight the ambition of Doyle, he has high honors in his eyes while also planning his MMA path with the best of the best coaches behind him.
“The plan is to be an All-American and win the national title,” Doyle said. “I want to win it for my school and Ray Bedford, Jared Haberman and, of course, Johnny Bedford. Jared Haberman and Ray Bedford are my college coaches and they could not have made more of an impact; they are amazing people.”
Where most people would struggle juggling a college career, wrestling career and MMA career, Doyle has thrived with the constant grind and says it’s not hard for everybody around him to realize it.
“My coaches have seen how good I am at it,” Doyle said. “They’ve seen that I have a future in it honestly. I have a fight on the 29th of October, then I get to go wrestle a week later. They completely trust that I am capable of doing it just because I’m all in.”
With how well Doyle does in the cage and on the mat, his grades may be the strongest of the three areas he chooses to dominate. With straight As semester after semester, Grad School doesn’t seem so difficult.
With guidance from Johnny Bedford, a good head on his shoulders and a few knockouts already to his name, Doyle is shamelessly looking to the future, but not with unrealistic goals. There is a very possible matchup in mind already if he were to get the call to the UFC tomorrow.
“AJ Fletcher, who just fought on the Contender Series, he won by flying knee and he has some pretty decent wrestling,” Doyle said. “I mean, he just started and got his contract and everything but I’m very confident that my wrestling will be up to par with his.”
As he does with everything else, Doyle has mapped out his path to the UFC. His goals have always been lofty, but he hasn’t been wrong much before.
“I guarantee you I will be in the UFC before my collegiate career is over,” Doyle said. “I’m almost certain that I might be able to get to that point, at least a Contender Series fight. I stay very active during the summer, and I think this past summer I had four or five fights or something like that. After this one I’ll be 3-0 and then in the summer I’ll probably have four or five more fights and be 8-0. Then we’ll see if the UFC starts looking at me then.”
The journey to Dana White’s Contender Series begins Friday, October 29, at AKA 18, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!