Bellator MMA has added another prospect to its talent pool with the signing of 2016 Summer Olympics hopeful Tyrell Fortune to an exclusive, multi-fight contract.
Promotion officials announced the deal on Tuesday. Fortune, 25, will attempt to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic wrestling team during trials next April. Even if he makes the team, Fortune still has designs on making his MMA debut early in 2016, according to a release.
"Wrestling in the Olympics and representing the United States of America has always been a dream of mine,” Fortune said. “Now that the dream is nearly a reality, I have taken the necessary steps to make sure I’m able to provide for myself going forward and there’s no better place to do that than with Scott Coker and Bellator MMA. I can’t wait to show the heavyweight division what I can do inside the cage and I look forward to being one of the names that continues to propel Bellator MMA to the top of the mixed martial arts landscape.”
Fortune excelled as a collegiate wrestler, winning two juco national titles and an NCAA Division II championship. He initially accepted an offer to wrestle at Ohio State University but eventually ended up at Grand Canyon University instead. Perhaps more significantly, Fortune is accomplished in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, with a wealth of experience on the national and international levels.
According to the release, Fortune has split time training wrestling in Arizona alongside fellow Bellator talent Ed Ruth and with the Blackzilians team in Boca Raton, Fla.