It’s National Championship season, the last chance for NCAA fans to watch their favorite wrestlers for the season or, for outgoing seniors, for good.
There’s always the percentage of wrestlers that shift their attention towards the Olympics or MMA, but for a large portion of graduating athletes, their days in sports are over.
With the historically strong hand-in-hand relationship wrestling and MMA has had, who are some of the most talented wrestlers to never step into the cage?
Josiah Hritsko of Fanco Wrestling gives us five more picks!
Brent Metcalf – University of Iowa
“A three-time National finalist and two-time champion, he helped Iowa win multiple National titles. He’s actually now a coach at Iowa State so that’s, I guess, why he’s not going into MMA, but he would obliterate his opponents. I don’t want to say he would ‘embarrass’ people on the mat because there’s kind of a fine difference between embarrassing and just being so good and dominant that you’re able to shove their face in the mat. He’s able to shove people’s face in the mat who are All-Americans.”
Jordan Burroughs – University of Nebraska
Headed to watch UFC 148. Maybe everyone will be watching me on PPV someday.— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) July 8, 2012
“He is an Olympic champion from back in 2012 at the London Olympics. Multiple-time World champion Jordan Burroughs has been the face of USA Wrestling for the last ten years. He was a multiple-time National champion, as well, from Nebraska. He’s a tough college wrestler but he’s been able to just grow over his career. Back in 2019 at a charity event, he wrestled Ben Askren. He’s actually tweeted out a couple times, I think, that he wants an MMA fight. His wife played on that and I think she said she didn’t want him to do it but he said he wants an MMA fight by the end of his career. You never know, that could be coming up soon.”
Tom and Terry Brands – University of Iowa
“Both multiple-time National champions at Iowa and they were coached by Dan Gable, and when you think of college wrestling, you think of Dan Gable. They’re both blue-collar, hard-nosed wrestlers and they had that hard-nosed mentality. Dan Gable kind of created that Iowa mentality through the Brands brothers and that lives on through today.”
David Taylor – Penn State University
“Four-time National finalist, two-time National champion and two-time Hodge Trophy winner. That’s the pinnacle - you are the best of all the other guys in the country - and David Taylor won that twice. In his freshman year he was pinned by Bubba Jenkins of Arizona State and Jenkins went on to fight in MMA. I think David Taylor would like to get some revenge for that. Since then, he has gone on to wrestle international, winning Olympic gold.”
Daton Fix – Oklahoma State University
“He’s a current college wrestler at Oklahoma State and a two-time National finalist. He’s looking for his first title and he’s likely to be going up against Roman Bravo-Young, who’s looking to get his start into MMA when he graduates. Daton is somebody who has multiple accolades in freestyle. He’s a quick guy, an extremely quick wrestler, he’s also kind of calculated; you’re not going to be able to score on him very often. I think that kind of quickness would translate to MMA.”
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