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MMA Is Tailor-Made For Casey Swiderski | UFC Fight Pass

Iowa State’s Casey Swiderski Has One Of The Most Entertaining Personalities, Wrestling Styles And Future Plan Options Of Anybody In NCAA Wrestling

He’s from the rural Midwest, he’s a D-1 wrestler, he hunts, and he’s as gritty as sandpaper. Casey Swiderski isn’t committing to an MMA career when he graduates from Iowa State, but it sounds like he might as well.

Swiderski is as predictable as he is unpredictable. You can nail down exactly what energy he’ll walk into a room with without having a clue what he may say. You know exactly what his hobbies are and he’d still have a story that would catch you off guard. It makes all the sense in the world that he would be a wrestler, but it’s also hard to imagine him doing anything other than putting down beers and hunting.

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He's an impossible amount of personality bundled up in down home Midwest packaging.

Much to the surprise of nobody, when Swiderski isn’t wrestling or hunting, there’s a good chance that he’s watching the UFC, cheering on every “fighter’s fighter” type athlete and the occasional outspoken champion.


“I like to watch (Sean) Strickland a lot because he’s just a real American bad dude,” Swiderski said. “I love what he does, I like what he says when he’s serious, he gets it and he’s really technical. He’s a good striker, for sure, but if I were to pick on the wrestling side, I would watch Michael Chandler and (Justin) Gaethje, which I do because they’re just throwing bombs. I wish they would wrestle more, but they don’t. I feel like they would be more successful if they did use their wrestling, but they don’t. I like (Alexander) Volkanovski, too. He’s a scrapper.”

While he was mastering a sport based on never letting emotion turn a gritty match into a fight, Swiderski was splitting his time between learning how to wrestle and learning how to master the next step beyond push coming to shove.

It should come as a surprise to nobody that Swiderski was learning how to fight while perfecting the art of a sport where fighting is punished heavily.

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“I grew up a little bit [fighting] and doing a little bit of sparring in our wrestling barn, where my dad’s got gloves and stuff,” Swiderski said. “He always taught us how to hit the bag, how to street fight if we ever got into it. Me and my brother have scrapped a lot growing up, and yeah, I definitely was super interested in it, for sure, and I think I can take a punch. I’ve been in a couple of scraps, I ain’t going to lie.”

Throwing nobody and everybody a curveball at the same time, fighting isn’t out of the cards for Swiderski when he graduates. He’s not one to be held down, on or off the mat, so no commitments have been made, but with the tangibles and intangibles he’s got, don’t be surprised if you find him in the cage or…in the military.

“I’ve always thought about fighting,” Swiderski said. “Honestly, I’ve always had that thought in my head. I like to hunt, too; I don’t know yet. I’ve always thought about going and being a Navy Seal, as well, after all this is over or staying in the circuit wrestling-wise. I’ve got a couple of options. I don’t know what’s going to happen yet.”

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What if Swiderski does get into MMA after college? If he can take a punch and has a stronger wrestling acumen than most in whichever division he joins, is he going to be the “path of least resistance” wrestler who uses his wrestling base to take his opponent down and ground and pound them to TKOs, or is he going to be throwing bombs?

It'd be the wrestler in him to use the ground attack and make some easy money, but it’d be the country boy in him to bite down on the mouth piece and get messy.

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“I would like to strike because I wouldn’t want to be that guy that’s just boring and wrestles you to the ground and can’t strike worth a damn,” Swiderski said. “I definitely like to strike, but I’d utilize the wrestling and the grappling and all that good stuff. It’d be a really good mix of it, but I definitely would be in your face. I would keep the pressure on you that whole fight, without a doubt.”

The cage, the military, the wrestling circuit and the cover of Cabela’s Big Game Hunter will always be there in the future so, for now, enjoy the journey because athletes like Casey Swiderski don’t come around often.

Catch Iowa State vs Cleveland State Sunday, November 5, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!