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Cole Konrad joins Bellator Heavyweight Tournament

Cole KonradCHICAGO, Ill. (July 20, 2010) — 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 6 feet, 5 inches tall and tipping the scales at 265 lbs., Konrad is the seventh confirmed participant in the tournament along with undefeated European finisher Damian “The Polish Pitbull” Grabowski, power-punching British behemoth Neil Grove, heavy-handed UFC veteran Eddie Sanchez, Spanish submission ace Rogent Lloret, Seattle-area knockout artist Mike “300” Hayes and Georgia-based ground-and-pound specialist Scott Barrett.

The tournament begins Aug. 12th 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 lbs. 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.”

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Cole was overhyped due to his affiliations…As stated he is an excellent wrestler but that’s where his high level skill set ends everything else is novice at best… I doubt he wins this tourney but it’s a good way to get some good fights under his belt and see where he measures up as far as other HW’s on the come up. He will eventually be a force to wreckon with but just not at this time.

  • MCM says:

    Agreed Rece. But its great to see him atleast trying to get tough fights. He’s a guy with a lot of hype and limited skills, but he’s not content to settle for just fighting hand picked cans (like some other wrestlers in MMA). I think he’s young enough with a good enough fighting base that in 2 or 3 years it’s very possible we could see him making waves in the HW division. I don’t think he’ll win, but I applaud him for testing himself.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Ive got so up for Coles fights ever since I saw him, only to be let down with unimpressive lay n pray wins. As a training partner of Lesnars, the potential to exploit his wrestling in MMA is there, but watching he and Chris Tuchsherer really puts Brocks speed and athleticism into perspective

  • cutman says:

    Guy’s don’t get me wrong he is no brock but neither is anyone else…but the guy finds a way to win look at Warren he is also a guy that just wins and by the end of the season he was rippin it up….He really needs to have more than one dimension though…Hope he doesn’t fight outside in the 900 degree weather in KC or KY that won’t help him at all….


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