Vic Gonzalez made some waves when he declared himself sick of “spoon-fed” wrestlers in regards to Fury FC 83 opponent Nick Piccininni. What exactly did the NCAA wrestling community think of the comment?
Cayden Henschel – UW Parkside: “I think of the person who would say this feels as if they didn’t have the opportunity to train combat as early as you see almost every wrestler these days. Seems like it’s coming from a point of jealousy, but you can’t deny that wrestlers have proven to back up naysayers time and time again to succeed and be household names in the sport.”
Kyle Parco – Arizona State: “The term ‘spoon-fed’ implies that things are given without any work or effort. By discipline- wrestlers can’t be ‘spoon-fed because wrestling is one of, if not, the hardest disciplines in martial arts. That’s not to say BJJ or Muay Thai aren’t hard but wrestling takes a different kind of work. Now maybe wrestlers may or may not get better fights faster, that’s not for me to say, but the numbers show wrestlers are the best in MMA, statistics don’t lie. If this guy really believes wrestlers are spoon fed then he should be able to beat Nick no problem but I don’t think it’ll be that easy.”
Amar Dhesi – Oregon State: “Wrestlers are bred for fighting from a young age. Everything is a fight, from learning to cut weight, train, compete, especially the ones that make it into a college room. The hardship and the extreme sacrifices made to be great is like nothing else. You get what you earn and wrestlers have earned their respect in the sport of MMA. My answer to ‘spoon-fed wrestlers?’ There’s no such thing.”
Brody Teske – Iowa: “I feel like whoever said this needs to win the fight first and then bring that discussion up. Win first.”
Josh Heil – Campbell: “The term ‘spoon-fed insinuates that these wrestlers are given hand picked opponents to expedite their process to the top. Whether that’s correct or not I have no idea but, at the end of the day, there’s a contract that both fighters have to sign and if people hate seeing these wrestlers have success then beat them.”
Kyven Gadson – Iowa State: I think the fighters have to understand the business/entertainment aspect of it. If you build a following of people or fans then I’m doing my job. If I have a following or a draw it doesn’t mean I’m spoon-fed. Most of the wrestlers that are trying their hand at MMA are putting a ton of effort in to represent themselves and the organizations at a high level. Wrestling provides a natural base for combat. It provides a deep insight on discipline, character development, skill development, grit, humility and the display of heart necessary to walk into the cage/arena. To me, it seems as though people are jealous or envious of wrestlers and feel threatened by what they bring to the space. Do people get passed up? For sure, but not because wrestlers are spoon fed. They get passed up because wrestlers are warriors and they’re hungry to pursue excellence just like they did when there was nobody watching them cut weight on a Wednesday night in their high school gym wrestling room or like they did when they ate Thanksgiving dinner and had to go run and work out again to beat the scale. Wrestlers are hungry, not spoon-fed.”
Nino Bonaccorsi – Pitt: I understand that his opponent may be annoyed with the hype around a wrestler, let alone an Oklahoma State All-American, but I feel like wrestlers get good fights or high praise just because of the respect they get from just being in the sport. You are constantly battling every day in the room, making weight, match duals, all things that professional fighters do on a regular basis. While I get it may be frustrating, I feel like most college wrestlers are ready for the big tests right away. Good luck to both fighters.”
Andrew Alirez – Northern Colorado: Sounds like he’s mad. In all seriousness, whether you like it or not, wrestling is the best base for MMA because you can dictate where the fight takes place and control the pace. Someone who has shown that they can compete at a high level in a sport like wrestling is going to be on another level than someone who hasn’t gone through it. It wouldn’t be fair to throw an NCAA All-American against a guy who only had a couple fights or isn’t extremely proficient in another aspect, so therefore he gets to jump the line to fight guys who can actually compete, even though that high level wrestler may not have a lot of experience in MMA. It ain’t spoon-fed because wrestling is the toughest sport in the world you go through, especially if you competed at a high level. You’ve already paid your dues to a certain extent. If you don’t like it, be mad. My money’s on Piccininni.”
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