Press Release courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships
Cole Konrad, the two-time NCAA wrestling champion who is undefeated since making the transition into MMA earlier this year, is the latest confirmed participant in Bellator Fighting Championships’ upcoming Season 3 heavyweight tournament.
The 26-year-old Konrad, a protégé and training partner of reigning UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, will enter the tournament looking to improve on the unblemished 4-0 record he has compiled since making his pro debut in January. His two most recent wins came during special “Feature Fights” at Bellator 17 and Bellator 22 in May and June.
Standing at six feet, five inches tall and tipping the scales at 265 pounds, Konrad is the seventh confirmed participant in the tournament along with Damian Grabowski, Neil Grove, Eddie Sanchez, Rogent Lloret, Mike Hayes, and Scott Barrett.
The tournament begins Aug. 12 on FOX Sports Net.
“Cole Konrad’s pedigree as a wrestler is obviously second-to-none and he is quickly developing other aspects of his MMA arsenal as well,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Between Warren at 45 and Askren at 70, world class wrestlers have had a very good run with Bellator, and Cole could certainly follow in those footsteps.”
Konrad, who grew up in Neenah, Wis., won the NCAA wrestling championships at 285 pounds while competing at the University of Minnesota in 2006 and 2007 and won a gold medal at the 2005 Pan-American Games. He has been training with Lesnar, a fellow U. of M. alumnus, for the past year and a half.
“This tournament is going to provide me with the greatest test that I’ve faced so far in my fighting career,” Konrad said. “But this is exactly the kind of test I’m looking for. I want to get as many fights under my belt as I can and I want to keep fighting tougher guys. This tournament is going to allow me to do that.
“I’m taking it one fight at a time, but I’m planning on winning this tournament. If I wasn’t planning on winning, I wouldn’t bother showing up.”