Penn State mega star Roman Bravo-Young made it very clear that there was a chance his dominant 2021-2022 season would be the last time he set foot on an NCAA mat, so now that it’s all said and done, is it really over for the prodigious 133-pounder?
“RBY” has made a career out of dazzling opponents and fans alike with the speed, footwork and agility that has had athletes in one of the most speedy and agile divisions in the sport chasing their tails for four years.
It’s often a topic of conversation amongst the overlap of MMA and NCAA fans: “How would (insert every wrestler alive) do in MMA, do you think?”
Bravo-Young has taken the mystery out of it. MMA is on the table; he’s training with Dominick Cruz and keeping his intentions known. It isn’t his aggression and his grit that has MMA fans chomping at the bit for a taste of Bravo-Young in the cage. He’s got plenty of both, but it’s his finesse and skill that has - and will continue to - set him apart from the pack.
“I just want to be an entertainer, whether I’m fighting or wrestling,” Bravo-Young explained. “It’s cool that people see potential in me. That makes me want to grind and work harder, so definitely down the road for me I just have to figure out what I want to do. It’s cool that people see that in me and that’s just my style. I like to put on a show, and I don’t want to wrestle or fight like anyone else. It’s my career and I’m just drawing my own art picture out there, so it’s cool that people can see that potential in me and it makes me strive to work harder and figure out new ways to be unorthodox.”
Whichever direction Bravo-Young goes, the red carpet will be rolled out. If he stays in the NCAA, he will likely etch his face on the Mount Rushmore of one of the most prestigious collegiate programs in the country. If he opts for the Olympics, he will be one of the most covered wrestlers doing so. If he chooses to go into MMA, there will be quite the list of gyms opening the doors for him.
With his prime physical years still well ahead of him, Bravo-Young doesn’t have his mind on becoming the biggest star in whatever sport he chooses; he wants to find the best fit.
“It’s not about being famous,” Bravo-Young explained. “Fame is not a thing that anyone should chase. If you come and you win, it’ll come with it, but I don’t think you should be around chasing fame. If people like you, they like you; if not, it’s not something you should focus on. For me, I just want to worry about what makes me happy.”
Following his second National title, Bravo-Young gave NCAA fans around the country hope when he tweeted out, asking if he should return for another year. With every community waiting with open arms, does Bravo-Young know which career-path to embrace?
Not quite yet.
“I have no clue; I haven’t decided yet,” Bravo-Young said. “I just have to wait until I figure out what my heart wants to do. Right now, I don’t know. I’m just enjoying it. I’m going to train with [Dominick Cruz] soon, figure that out, maybe take an indie fight this year. We’ll just play it by ear.”
With plenty of time ahead of him, we may all get a piece of the 133-pound king.
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