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Yonger Bastida Reflects On Social Media Post | UFC Fight Pass

All-American Iowa State Cyclone Yonger Bastida Responds To “Controversies” Faced On A Video Posted From His X Account Ahead Of 2024 NCAA Nationals.

While promoting himself with a video of him wrecking his potential upcoming opponents, Iowa State All-American Yonger Bastida has faced both praise and backlash for his online presence.

After a year of mowing down opponents in his new weight class, Bastida was walking into 2024 NCAA Nationals as a dark horse looking to bring home a title. Following an undefeated regular season, Bastida posted a video of himself smashing and tossing the brass of the heavyweight division, giving a potential comedic sneak peak of what was to come in Kansas City.

“I want to promote myself because I want to feel the heat,” Bastida said. “The heat leading up to wrestling, we are like fighters.”

While Bastida achieved his goal of getting more eyes on him ahead of the most important weekend of the season, not everyone enjoyed it. A vocal section of wrestling Twitter saw the post as unnecessary or distasteful, leading to Bastida having a split group of supporters and haters on social media.

The goal of the post was to promote himself and get his name out there, and it certainly caught eyes.

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“I didn’t think that it would go viral, but I was doing it to promote myself,” said Bastida.

Despite some controversy from people online, his teammates got a kick out of it, and most of the Cyclones hopped on the hype train with them. Even his wrestling veteran coach Kevin Dresser found no issue with Bastida’s urge to build his brand at the “expense” of the competition.


“He just said to slow down,” Bastida laughed. “He doesn’t like social media that much but he’s cool.”

After jumping up from 197 pounds to heavyweight, Bastida wreaked havoc on anyone in his path to Nationals. He was a division darling for most people (outside of Iowa City) and it was rare to hear a bad word spoke about the Cuban-born star but some of that changed when he mockingly “smashed” his opponents on social media.

Believe it or not, it didn’t distract Bastida in the slightest.

“I don’t care about other people’s comments, I know what I’m doing,” Bastida said. “I’m focused.”

The season didn’t shake out the way Bastida had drawn it up and this was a letdown to both him and his fans. However, Bastida refuses to place blame on social media fun or backlash from the vocal minority. Bastida attributes a lion’s share of the loss to a badly injured finger that heavily affected his performance.

The wrestling community may not have been ready for a bold heavyweight having some fun with his competition prior to some of the biggest matchups of the year. However, if there’s any crew that loves a strong online presence and a love for building matchups, it’s the world of MMA.

“After I get done with my college career, I am going to try and do a few years of freestyle wrestling,” Bastida said. “After that, I want to go to the UFC, that’s my plan. I, for sure, want to do MMA. I love it.”

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