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Exclusive: Former NCAA Champ and Lesnar Sparring Partner Cole Konrad has Sights on Early-2010 Debut

ColeKonradCould a former two-time NCAA heavyweight champion be on the verge of crossing over to mixed martial arts? If sources are to be believed, yes.

FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that Cole Konrad, who finished first in the NCAAs in 2006 and 2007 in the 285 lbs. division and proceeded Brock Lesnar on the University of Minnesota wrestling team, is set to make his MMA debut early this year. And according to sources close to the fighter, his debut could come as soon as this month.

While Conrad’s entry into professional mixed martial arts may sound rushed, the 26-year old Wisconsin native has actually been training MMA for the past two years. Soon after Marty Morgan resigned as a coach with the University of Minnesota wrestling team to join Lesnar as his full-time wrestling coach, he recruited Konrad to serve as a full-time training partner to the current UFC heavyweight champion.

After college, the four-time All-American’s initial goal was to follow in the footsteps of fellow former NCAA heavyweight champion and current New England Patriots All-Pro OL Stephen Neal and make it in the NFL. Despite not having played football in college, Konrad was invited to try out for the New York Jets prior to the 2008 regular season.

Now a full-time resident of Minnesota, Konrad splits his time training at Greg Nelson’s Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in Minneapolis and also at Lesnar’s home training facility in Alexandria, Minn. In addition to training with Lesnar and also sharing a similar pedigree, Konrad is also co-managed by Lesnar’s manager, Brian Stegeman.

Sources also have revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Konrad is already drawing significant interest from both DREAM as well as the upstart Bellator Fighting Championships in the United States, which could conduct its first-ever heavyweight tournament this August.

12 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    nice to have a buddy in the industry, get yea some publicity before your even in the ring/ cage… I’m sure the last 2 years he’s learned quite a bit, and is probably quite the athelte to begin with… hope he goes to bellator that would be a cool way to start a career…

  • Dufresne says:

    This could be a fun guy to watch. He’s obviously got the wrestling pedigree, but if he’s a fast as Brock and capable of cutting down to 265 to fight in the bigger promotions HW division, he could be a real show stopper. Training with Greg Jackson can do nothing but help this guy’s chances of making a big splash in MMA, and it doesn’t hurt to be a sparring partner of a current champ.

    This new breed of HWs is making the division terrifying.

  • baldguy80 says:

    What the heck do they feed these guys in Minnesota??

  • Snoop Dogg says:

    What the heck do they feed these guys in Minnesota??

    Bear’s fans

  • patsiera68 says:

    It would be a major lift to not just the UFC, but MMA in general to have another Brock Lesnar in this heavyweight division. Here’s to hoping Konrad has something to offer.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    Being from MN, I appreciate the Bears comment! Training with Greg Nelson is a great start for Conrads career. I think starting in Bellator will be a great move in his part. These new fighters are starting younger in MMA, so the future is bright with young talent.

  • Dufresne says:

    Snoop Dogg: What the heck do they feed these guys in Minnesota??Bear’s fans

    LMAO!

  • danw84 says:

    The Vikings looked sweet against the Bears last time!

  • ctownhood says:

    This is great news for sure. Just wanted to point out to everyone……he’s training with Greg Nelson (Minnesota Martial Arts), NOT Greg Jackson (New Mexico)

  • Dufresne says:

    ctownhood: This is great news for sure. Just wanted to point out to everyone……he’s training with Greg Nelson (Minnesota Martial Arts), NOT Greg Jackson (New Mexico)

    Good catch, I completely misread that.

  • dpk says:

    This guy was a beast when I remember watching him wrestle in college. I think he had an 86 match winning streak to end his career. Barring an upset loss, or injury he will be in UFC with-in 4-5 fights, and a force when he gets there.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “Barring an upset loss, or injury he will be in UFC with-in 4-5 fights, and a force when he gets there”

    I wouldn’t rush to say he will be in the UFC dpk, SF and co have a pretty hefty check book now also and I am not so sure that the UFC would want another “he’s my friend and I wont fight him” scenario. But this guy sounds good and big too. I just hope he at least tries to learn submissions and kick boxing.

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