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Jacob Sartorio Staying Level-Headed Ahead SoCon Crown

Despite Being Matched Up Against 2024 UFC FIGHT PASS Fighter To Watch Taye Ghadiali, Appalachian State Heavyweight Jacob Sartorio Isn’t Getting Caught Up In The Hype

With so many wrestling fans hyper-fixated on rivalries involving powerhouse programs such as Iowa, Oklahoma State, and Penn State, the everlasting feud between Southern Conference staples Campbell and Appalachian State often gets swept under the rug. 

Whether it's on the recruiting trails or on the mat, the two North Carolina institutions have been battling for superiority for well over a decade. In recent years, App State has taken firm control of the rivalry, touting an 11-4 record in dual meets, including a two-meet win streak dating back to 2022. 

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In 2024, the tradition begins a new chapter, as it turns to CFFC Matchday and UFC FIGHT PASS in a move that will surely expose the rivalry to an entirely new audience. 

“We’re not exactly in the biggest conference, but our rivalry is pretty heated and intense,” said App State heavyweight Jacob Sartorio. “I like it because it gives us a chance, especially since it’s on UFC FIGHT PASS, to show the rest of the country and the casual watchers that we can wrestle, and you can’t overlook us because we’ve got some guys that can scrap, too.”

In addition to added promotion from FIGHT PASS and CFFC, another source of increased exposure to the dual could be in relation to Sartorio’s opponent, Taye Ghadiali. On top of being named a 2024 UFC FIGHT PASS Fighter to watch, Ghadiali touts a 22-3 record on the season, and will be ranked #10 in the nation at heavyweight heading into the Dual. 

Although he’s aware of his opponent’s credentials, Sartorio is feeling no added pressure. 

“I don’t really look into all that kind of stuff. I think it just causes me to overthink things.” Sartorio said. “I like to take every competition one at a time and get my mind right and get ready to go out and compete my hardest.”

In Sartorio’s mind, this casual outlook towards his opponents is a methodology aligned with elevating his on-mat performance, and one he aims to reap the benefits of against Campbell. Despite a rocky history against Ghadiali, Sartorio is remaining confident heading into Friday’s match.

“I’ve always wrestled my best when I just tune that stuff out and worry about taking care of business,” Sartorio said. 

“We wrestled twice last year. He's beaten me twice. Nothing that happened last year carries over to this year, and I was a much different wrestler last year than I am this year. Regardless of what he’s done, I still plan on going in there and taking care of business.” 

Even though Sartorio has a deep understanding of remaining level-headed prior to the match, he still understands the magnitude of a potential win over an opponent as highly regarded as Ghadiali. 

“I try to stay in a neutral frame of mind, but the win will feel pretty sweet. It’s always nice to beat a guy who has had the upper hand on you.” Sartorio said. “I’m not expecting it to be easy at all, the guy is who he is for a reason. He’s gotten the attention he has for a reason. That doesn’t change what I’m going to do and what my team is going to do.”

Sartorio will look to shock the wrestling world and upset Ghadiali this Friday at CFFC Match Day: SoCon Crown, streaming exclusively on FIGHT PASS!