MMA connections to the 2006 NCAA Division I wrestling tournament

This weekend, Cain Velasquez will challenge Brock Lesnar for his heavyweight title. Everyone has mentioned their impressive wrestling credentials. In 2006, Cain Velasquez finished fourth. He lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Cole Konrad.

Actually the entire tournament seemed to be littered with future MMA fighters. Of the 40 wrestlers to make the semifinals, nine have either fought MMA or plan to in the future.

Team Thirsty member Shawn Bunch finished third at 133-pounds for Edinboro. He has expressed interest in fighting after his wrestling career is finished.

Oklahoma State’s Johny Hendricks defeated Ryan Churella of Michigan in the finals to claim an NCAA championship. He is currently 9-0 and fighting in the UFC.

In the semifinals, Hendricks defeated American University’s Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov who is 1-1 fighting on small shows in the Northwest.

In the 197-pound final, Jake Rosholt defeated Penn State’s Phil Davis. Both fighters have fought in the UFC. Davis is considered to be one of the best prospects in the light heavyweight division.

To reach the finals, Rosholt defeated Hofstra’s Chris Weidman. Weidman has gone 3-0 for the Ring of Combat promotion and impressed everyone at the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships.

Last night, Missouri’s Ben Askren claimed the Bellator welterweight championship. In 2006, he defeated FILA World silver medalist Jake Herbert of Northwestern to claim an NCAA title. He was also named “Outstanding Wrestler” of the tournament.

As previously stated, current Bellator heavyweight champion defeated Cain Velasquez in the semifinals. He went on to defeat future Olympian and Oklahoma State star Steve Mocco in the finals to claim the title.

2006 NCAA Division 1 Wrestling National Championships Semifinal Result
(MMA Connection in Bold)

Troy Nickerson, Cornell dec. Nick Simmons, Michigan St., 2-1
Joe Dubuque, Indiana dec. Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma, 2-1

Christopher Fleeger, Purdue dec. Shawn Bunch, Edinboro, 9-2
Matthew Valenti, Penn dec. Nathan Morgan, Oklahoma St., 7-3

Nate Gallick, Iowa St. dec. Andy Simmons, Michigan St., 4-2
Teyon Ware, Oklahoma dec. Cory Cooperman, Lehigh, 2-1

Dustin Schlatter, Minnesota dec. Matthew Storniolo, Oklahoma, 5-1
Tyler Eustice, Iowa dec. Zack Esposito, Oklahoma St., 7-4

Ben Cherrington, Boise St. dec. Joe Johnston, Iowa, 8-3
Brian Stith, Ariz. St. dec. Derek Zinck, Lehigh, 5-3

Ryan Churella, Michigan dec. Joey Bracamonte, Oregon, 4-3
Johny Hendricks, Oklahoma St. dec. Muzaffar Abdurakmanov, American, 4-3

Ben Askren, Missouri by tech-fall Michael Patrovich, Hofstra, 21-6
Jake Herbert, Northwestern dec. Mark Perry, Iowa, 9-3

Shane Webster, Oregon dec. Joshua Glenn, American, 8-7
Roger Kish, Minnesota dec. Peter Friedl, Illinois, 3-2

Jacob Rosholt, Oklahoma St. by fall Chris Weidman, Hofstra, 1:08
Phil Davis, Penn St. dec. Jerry Rinaldi, Cornell, 7-4

Cole Konrad, Minnesota dec. Cain Velasquez, Ariz. St, 2-2; rt tb2.
Steve Mocco, Oklahoma St. dec. Greg Wagner, Michigan, 2-1

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