Mixing Martial Arts: Colorado Wrestling Promoter Endorsing MMA

By Jake Rossen Nov 2, 2009
Amateur wrestling, which had its first major North American presence in MMA with Dan Severn’s 1994 UFC debut, has long been a very rough way to make a living: there just isn’t much of one unless you get an Olympic medal and some endorsements. (This on a good day: if you can name 2008’s gold medalist, you’ve seen Bob Costas more than I care to.)

Recognizing the financial pitfalls of that career, Colorado wrestling organizer Ed Gutierrez is making more overt attempts to indoctrinate his wrestlers into a pro fighting career. This past weekend, he tied in an MMA event with a wrestling meet, creating a fairly seamless connection between “amateur” grapping and pro fighting.

"This weekend is a pilot for us," he said. "But if we have the interest, we`d like to link the two together."

Some (Daniel Cormier) don’t have a problem graduating to the mayhem, while others (Cael Sanderson) don’t have it in them. There probably isn’t any total normalcy in a life of punching people in the head, but tethering it to wrestling could make it appear a little less lurid.
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