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What type of wrestlers make the best Mixed Martial Artists?
By Kyle Klingman
Wrestling finally has its own professional wrestling league. Its name: Mixed Martial Arts. Specifically, it is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), Strikeforce and any of the other Mixed Martial Arts organizations throughout the world. College wrestling is now its farm system — and it always will be.
Mixed Martial Arts icon Pat Miletich says it has been that way for the past few years. Miletich, a former wrestler who went 29-7-2 during his MMA career, currently owns and operates Miletich Fighting Systems based out of Davenport, Iowa.
An occasional judo Olympian will make the transition to Mixed Martial Arts, and there will always be black belts in jiu- jitsu competing. But, in some way, it always involves grappling. Because college wrestling is so physical and so aggressive it is, in Miletich’s mind, the best breeding ground for Mixed Martial Arts.
“MMA is finally that direction a wrestler can take into professional athletics and make a great living doing it,” said Miletich. “Wrestlers never had that before.”
“We’ve seen what MMA has done for wrestling in different areas of the country, and even different parts of the world. Kids are going out for wrestling because they see the bio of a fighter in a televised event and it says they were a college wrestler or an All-American or an Olympian. Kids go ‘Wow, I want to wrestle.’”
(The rest of this story can be found in the Feb. 29 issue of Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine. Click on “Subscribe to WIN” to receive 12 issues in a calendar year for $29.95 … or call the WIN office at 1-888-305-0606.)