World-class wrestlers-turned MMA fighters to observe: Half 4


Going again a half-decade or so, proper across the time earlier than and after the 2016 Rio Olympics, the development of high-level wrestlers making an earnest transition to the game of blended martial arts was a particularly widespread incidence. All you’d have to do is have a look at Half 1, Half 2 and Half 3 of this collection to see the wealth of expertise that made the transition. The overwhelming majority of those wrestlers have since cemented themselves as legit forces on the MMA scene, after which we hit a little bit of a lull by way of the wrestling-to-MMA pipeline.

Now, as one other Olympic Video games nears, issues are beginning to warmth up once more and we have now not less than one other handful of tip-top wrestlers making the leap. We needs to be enthusiastic about this, since we’re speaking about a number of the perfect wrestlers on this planet who’re making a full dedication to a brand new fight sport.

Richie Lewis

Resume: Three-time All-State New Jersey highschool, two-time NJCAA All-American (second and third place), NCAA Division I nationwide qualifier for Rutgers, 2017 U23 freestyle world champ, 2019 Dave Schultz Memorial champ.

New Jersey’s Lewis has had designs on changing into a prizefighter for fairly a while. Going all the way in which again to junior highschool, Lewis loved watching fellow Jersey wrestlers like Frankie Edgar and Kurt Pellegrino decide up wins contained in the UFC. Now, in 2021, after initially planning a run on the Tokyo Video games, “Richie Savage” has shifted his focus in direction of the cage.

Lewis is all in with reference to his MMA endeavor. He has relocated to Florida, a state shortly changing into the mecca of top-flight MMA gyms, is constructing a group round himself, and plans on taking advantage of his entrepreneurial savvy with a eager eye in direction of the enterprise facet of his new sport. Lewis made his MMA debut on March 26 at Titan FC 68, incomes a dominant unanimous determination victory. Count on large issues from Lewis within the 155-pound division going ahead.

Mahmoud Sebie Fawzy

Resume: 2016 African Championships gold medal (Greco-Roman), 2016 Olympian (fifteenth place), silver medals on the Dave Schultz Memorial and African Championships in 2017.

Fed up with the politics of wrestling in his house nation of Egypt, Greco-Roman powerhouse Sebie has relocated to the USA (Florida) with plans to pursue a coveted spot on the UFC roster. The Olympian is ranging from scratch however has made it abundantly clear that he’s in it for the lengthy haul, publicly displaying his enthusiasm for MMA at each flip.

Preventing out of the identical camp as fellow stud wrestler and UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington, Sebie, by the use of his spectacular social media presence and intelligent self-promotion, has created fairly a buzz. On Jan. 30 at XMMA 8, Sebie confirmed that he brings way more to the desk then a set of chiseled abs and a ton of Instagram likes. Explosive, aggressive, and spectacular, he rag-dolled his opponent en path to profitable a lopsided unanimous determination victory.

In what was basically an commercial for the utility of high-level Greco-Roman wrestling in MMA, Sebie regarded each bit the a part of an Olympic wrestler with a pleasant cache of medals to his identify. Sebie hit large, dynamic throws all through the competition and outdid his foe on each entrance. It was quite a lot of enjoyable to observe. Control this welterweight as he continues his climb.

Rustam Chsiev

Resume: Profitable age-group wrestler on the nationwide stage in his native Ossetia. Wrestling at 84 kilograms, Chsiev entered a number of Dave Schultz Memorial and New York AC Worldwide tournaments, competing in opposition to the likes of Mack Lewnes, Jon Reader, Phil Keddy and others. He defeated NCAA Division I champ Keith Gavin within the course of. Chsiev additionally established himself amongst the easiest submission grapplers on this planet, profitable bronze on the 2015 ADCC World Championships.

“The Russian Bear” has dipped his ft into the MMA waters a number of instances over time, however he finds himself on this checklist as a result of he has made it recognized that he now plans to pursue MMA as his important focus for the foreseeable future.

The Russian transplant, residing and coaching out of New Jersey’s Okay-Dojo for the higher a part of the final decade, has been working his boxing diligently as of late, one thing that has been painfully evident for his 185-pound contemporaries. Having stated that, Chsiev makes his residing on his energy and intensely excessive stage of technical capacity. The person has a really deep bag of methods, routinely flashing a really big range of offensive methods. He’s a ton of enjoyable to observe, and his grappling expertise coupled along with his huge wrestling experience offers him a distinct look than most wrestlers you will see within the cage. Chsiev returns to the cage tomorrow night time at Courageous Fight 50 in Bahrain.

Kazuma Kuramoto

Resume: Two-time Greco-Roman senior world group member for Japan at 59-60 kilograms, silver medal at 2012 Asian Championships, two-time bronze medalist at Sunkist Worldwide, 2008 College world silver medalist.

Japanese MMA, as soon as the middle of the MMA universe, has been struggling to rekindle the hearth that it misplaced when its beloved Delight Preventing Championship fell in 2006. Regardless of wealthy custom and a treasure trove of fight sports activities expertise, the method has been sluggish. Issues could also be wanting up although, and the final two entries on that checklist may play an enormous function.

Bantamweight (135 kilos) wrecking ball Kazuma Kuramoto is exactly the form of fighter that Japan wants whether it is to attract large numbers to its MMA reveals as soon as once more. Not solely as a result of his model of wrestling is awe-inspiring contained in the cage, however as a result of he {couples} these large throws and slams expertly along with his love of slinging heavy leather-based. The person the Japanese followers have affectionately dubbed “The Suplex Machine” performs the a part of the rough-and-tumble brawler to perfection. And with 5 of his seven wins coming by KO or TKO and most of these KO’s facilitated by an enormous takedown, Kuramoto presents a bundle that’s formidable as it’s efficient.

Shinobu Ota celebrates after profitable a world title in 2019 (Photograph/Tony Rotundo,

Shinobu Ota

Resume: 4-time Asian Championships medalist (two gold, one silver, one bronze), 2016 Olympic silver medalist, 2019 world champion.

And final however not least, we have now the cream of the crop by way of present wrestling expertise coming to MMA, the reigning 59-kilogram Greco-Roman Olympic silver medalist and 2019 63-kilogram world champ Shinobu Ota. It’s a long-standing custom in Japan’s MMA neighborhood to indicate your respect and admiration for Olympic heroes who’re eager about combating, by matching them up of their debut with established veterans with the flexibility to embarrass them. It is a unusual phenomenon I do know, however it actually appears to be true.

Ota made his much-hyped MMA debut at Rizin Preventing Federation’s large 2020 New 12 months’s Eve present and was welcomed to the game and defeated by a 40-plus combat veteran of MMA. Ota’s foe, a person named Hideo Tokoro, gave Ota maybe probably the most helpful expertise he may have hoped to achieve. They engaged in a sustained combat that noticed the competition organically circulation by means of all the positions one would discover themselves in on the highest ranges of MMA.

Regardless of the loss, Ota’s bodily brilliance shined brightly. The person is an excellent athlete, explosive as all hell, sturdy as an ox, and sporting the trademark slickness we see from just about all of Japan’s greatest fight athletes. Ota’s capacity to strike with authority, the pace at which he can cowl distance, uncanny energy he used to get out of precarious and unfamiliar spots, and spectacular composure all bode extraordinarily properly for him.

Because of his ultimate weight class and the extent of competitors at present occupying the decrease weights of Japans Greco ranks, one other Olympic run is unlikely for Ota. Hopefully wrestling’s loss is MMA’s achieve and we see this unbelievable athlete ply his commerce in one other combative area.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *