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What happened to all the NCAA level wrestlers at lightweight?

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by JustOnce, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. JustOnce Always learning

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    Ten plus years ago, lightweight division was a shark tank with wrestlers, well maybe a notch below welterweight, maybe a couple notches.

    And it really looked like we'd be getting more NCAA talents coming into MMA, with UFC becoming more main stream and fighters getting paid more and having insurances covered by the UFC, which probably led to incomparably more fighter pull outs eventually. MMA really started looking more and more like a legitimate career path for wrestlers from the NCAA.

    But this is what lightweight division looks like right now.


    1 Dustin Poirier
    2 Justin Gaethje
    3 Charles Oliveira
    4 Michael Chandler
    5 Tony Ferguson
    6 Conor McGregor
    7 Rafael Dos Anjos
    8 Dan Hooker
    9 Beneil Dariush
    10 Paul Felder

    There's two up there in top 10, and Justin Gaethje doesn't grapple at all in his fights. So the only guy really in top 10 is Michael Chandler, but this guy just came to the UFC a fight ago, got knocked out by a featherweight like two fights ago, got cucked by Brooks twice in his absolute prime, and has like two top ten wins in his entire career.

    I mean, if you look at the WW division, in a way it's even more odd. There's like three guys with NCAA background in top 10, Usman, Covington and Woodley.

    What happened to the next breeds of NCAA wrestlers? I guess there's a guy with a fetish for NCAA wrestlers on here who got cucked hard after Gaethje fight, maybe he'd know.

    It's just odd how the sport is always evolving, been hearing that for ten plus years, but things are the way they are.

    Where are all the NCAA level wrestlers???
     
  2. Luckyme Green Belt

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    There are still good wrestlers at LW but below top 10. Kevin Lee, Makhachev, Gillespie, and Tsurykian are a few that come to mind. The days of one-dimensional wrestlers dominating via LnP are over in the UFC. See Ben Askren for a recent example. The successful ones are those like Chandler that have developed a well rounded skill set.

    WW is the wrestling heavy division right now but even there the successful ones are the Usmans and Colbys who can do more than just wrestle.
     
  3. HOLA Silver Belt

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    Just because Gaethje doesn't use it offensively doesn't mean it doesn't come into play. He wouldn't be able to strike so freely if he wasn't so confident in his defensive wrestling.

    Anyway, Tony Ferguson was also a successful college wrestler. Wasn't NCAA D1 but he was really good.
     
  4. ExitLUPin K

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    Whats Gregor Gillespie up to? Did he wake up yet?
     
  5. HOLA Silver Belt

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    I believe he's currently conscious, yes. Has a fight in a few days. Brad Riddell.
     
  6. Slatersan Black Belt

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    Kevin lee, justin gaethje, gregor, and now chandler are all stud wrestlers. Times have changed and you need to have more than great wrestling credentials to make it. Shit Gaethje abandoned his wrestling to become a beast striker.
     
  7. BoTyson You will not shrink me gypsy, I have your tears

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    This is exactly why Khabib comes out of every fight unscathed and didnt want none of the welterweight division.
     
    GoGetSomeFansJon likes this.
  8. NoStoneUnturned Purple Belt Platinum Member

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    Take down defense has improved, finally. BJJ went through something similar as back in the day arm bars and leg triangles were all the rage. You hardly ever see an arm bar finish in men's MMA now. I love folk style wrestling but I'm really glad that fighters have improved and one trick ponies have been phased out. D1 folk style wrestling is still one of the best bases since as a group they are disciplined work horses and understand weight management.
     

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