Most mixed martial artists who turn pro are in a hurry to get fights under their belt and sign with a major organization, whether it be Bellator MMA, the World Series of Fighting or the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, unbeaten welterweight prospect Logan Storley sounds like an exception to the rule.
A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota, Storley is no stranger to the big stage and seems content to let his MMA career develop at its own pace. The 23-year-old Webster, South Dakota, native last fought under the Resurrection Fighting Alliance banner on April 15, as he stopped Cody Lincoln on second-round punches to improve to 4-0.
“The last fight I had, [UFC President] Dana White was there,” Storley told Sherdog.com. “RFA is a good organization, and right now, I think it’s the best besides the UFC and Bellator. A lot of alums from the RFA are in the UFC, and their shows are run well and run very professionally. I’m definitely happy where I’m at right now.”
All four of Storley’s fights have come in the RFA, and all four have resulted in finishes, three of them inside the opening round.
“Things have really been going well,” he said. “The key for me is just getting experience in the cage. I already have experience at the highest level [of college wrestling] and know how to compete against the best guys in the country. The college wrestling season is five months long and is a real grind, so I know what it’s like to have to train for a long time and then peak for big matches. That’s really helped me. The biggest thing for me right now is just getting in there and being more comfortable and learning not to burn out all of my energy in the first few minutes. It’s just learning and improving every aspect of my game.”
Storley admits the transition from collegiate wrestler to prizefighter has been interesting and has forced him to put things in perspective.
“One thing that I’ve noticed is that this is all I do,” he said. “Some guys have to have a second job, but I’m fortunate enough that I don’t have to do that. In college, you have class, then one or two hours of practice, and you have so many things going on. Your parents still can help you out, or you have a scholarship. It’s not necessarily make or break. With college wrestling, nothing really matters that much until the NCAA Tournament. Now, it’s the real world. Every time you go out there to fight, it makes a big difference either way. In MMA, each training camp is big, and you’re only as good as your last fight. It’s what you do for living. The biggest difference for me is that I just get more time to train, and this is what I do and what I hope to continue to do for a long time.”
Not surprisingly, fellow South Dakota native and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar helped inspire Storley’s move to MMA following his wrestling career at Minnesota.
“I actually had three amateur fights in high school, and I got to be at one of his training camps,” said Storley, who trains with the Power MMA Team in Arizona. “I’d go after school, and I got to spar with [current UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson] when I was a senior in high school. As a senior in high school, I told my parents I was ready to fight professionally, but I still wanted to go to college and pursue an NCAA title. When I was in college, I started wondering if I really wanted to go into MMA, but in my sophomore or junior year, I really started thinking about what I wanted to do after college. Once I finished my senior year, I signed with [manager] Dave Martin and started training right away.”
Storley made his pro debut in August, needing only 2:32 to knock out Bill Mees at RFA 29. He followed it with another first-round KO -- this one against Marc Hummel at RFA 32 in November -- that took just 3:17. Storley started his 2016 campaign with a 33-second blitzing of Lemetra Griffin at RFA 36 before disposing of Lincoln 13 seconds into the second round. After fighting twice in a six-week period, he tapped the brakes.
“I just did back-to-back training camps, and that was tough,” Storley said. “I don’t get burned out on it very often, but I needed a break after my last fight. I’ve just worked out light over the last couple of weeks. It’s good to get in there and have fights, but it’s hard to focus on learning when you’re going from fight to fight to fight. I think it’s more fun learning new skills, so I might take a little longer break. I got pushed a little in my last fight, and I learned some combinations and things on the ground I want to improve on. It’s hard to get on RFA cards because there are so many good guys, so I’m just going to take a little break and improve this summer.”