Although the sports world is still reeling from the news that wrestling has been dropped from the Olympics as a core sport, and the fight to return it has just begun, it remains to be seen how it might affect MMA.
Will the wrestling talent continue to develop as it has been for years? Or, if wrestling doesn’t return to the Olympics, will that mean even more wrestlers will transition into MMA? If you need evidence of the success wrestlers have had in fighting, take a quick look at any division’s rankings. It’s impressive.
In a recent article by MMA Frenzy’s Sam Genovese titled “The Wrestlers Are (Still) Coming”, Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren talks about his move to MMA and the success he’s had. The piece also features several comments from University of Maryland wrestling coach and former Olympian Kerry McCoy, who offered this insight regarding which wrestlers are best suited for fighting.
“I ask my athletes, ‘When you finish your career, whatever it may be, what do you want your crowning moment to be?’ If I have an athlete who is tough as nails, a hard-worker, doesn’t really want to work a nine-to-five, and doesn’t want to worry about NCAA rules, he is a perfect fit to go into MMA,”
Clearly there have been more than a few decorated wrestlers now who have been “perfect” for the cage. Interesting read.
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