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Randy Couture: NCAA wrestlers transitioning to MMA ‘has gone way further than I ever imagined’

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UFC Hall of Fame member and retired mixed martial artist, Randy Couture, was on hand in St. Louis, Missouri during the Bellator 157: “Dynamite 2” fight week, and front and center for the “New Breed” media event, which featured four up-and-coming Bellator prospects: Aaron Pico, Jarod Trice, Tyrell Fortune and Joey Davis.

Like Couture, who was an NCAA Division 1 All-American at Oklahoma State, all four future Bellator competitors hail from strong collegiate wrestling backgrounds. The stark contrast between Couture’s time after college and these young men, is that MMA promotions are paying close attention to NCAA wrestlers in hopes of signing a future star or champion.

This didn’t exist for “The Natural,” who began his MMA career in the “no holds barred” days in 1997, at age 33, several years after his collegiate days.

“When I wrestled? No. This whole thing has gone way further than I ever expected or imagined,” Couture told MMAmania.com. “It’s been an amazing journey. It’s been a blast.”

Each year the NCAA Division I Championships garner a ton of attention from MMA websites, coaches, managers and promoters. Professional wrestling scouts are also keeping a close eye as well, for a potential character to perform in the squared circle. All eyes are fixated on the All-American and top-level talent competing during the tournament, and jobs and careers are now readily available for the athletes to obtain.

“It’s become a professional outlet for pro wrestlers and wrestling, which is great,” Couture said. “It was certainly an amazing career for me to be be a professional athlete for 14 years as a mixed martial artist. I made a great living plying my trade; Taking that wrestling background and applying that value in fighting instances. It’s been fun.”

Fortune, a Division II National Champion at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, who is currently training ….View full article

Source:: mma mania