2012 World MMA Featherweight Scouting Report: #9 - Cody Bollinger

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Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Cody Bollinger
Nickname: --
Age: 20
Height: 5'10"
Location:
Sultana, California

During our arduous journey through the sport's vast prospect pool, one trend stood out as a prevalent course moving forward. Young fighters are gaining the experience and skill they need to succeed at the highest levels at a much quicker pace. It isn't surprising considering the theory that the talent pool would get younger was a topic of discussion only a few years ago. The second generation of fighters, the kids who sat alongside their fathers or siblings watching MMA and became enamored with it, are now rising to the top.

One of the fighters on the cutting edge of that movement is Cody Bollinger (12-2). The 20-year-old featherweight fighter, who trains at Millennia MMA and with Greg Jackson, has already amassed thirteen career fights in over four years of fighting, making him only sixteen years of age when he first stepped into the cage.

Impressively, Bollinger has made quite a name for himself regionally, defeating The Ultimate Fighter contestant Cameron Dollar in September at an event in Oklahoma. He followed up the victory with another decision win, this time against Gladiator Challenge lightweight champion Aaron Neveu, on December 4th.

As one might expect, Bollinger's quick success at such a young age is backed by a strong wrestling base. At his high school in Sultana, California, Bollinger wrestled all four years, amassing a 45-3 record his senior year. He went on to join the wrestling squad at close-to-home Cerritos College in 2010, recording a 19-5 record for the year.

The most notable element of Bollinger's style is his fondness of the clinch. He works well at pressuring opponents to the fence, securing a body lock, and toppling them to the ground. If he happens to get stuffed, his relentless, tireless pace eventually finds a way to get a fight to the ground. On the floor, Bollinger isn't an adept submission specialist by any means, but he possesses solid ground and pound skills and the know-how to slap on an armbar or rear naked choke when the opportunity is there.

Bollinger can stand to improve the most in the striking department, specifically from range where he's awkward at times. In the scramble, however, Bollinger is dangerous and threatening, utilizing quick hands and decent power to stun and even stop opponents. At 5'10", however, it's unsettling to think he has no recourse if he can't find a way to get his opponent to the ground, especially with such a long frame.

Bollinger's youth and lacking strength of record were the key determinants in his late ranking. While a victory over UFC veteran Cameron Dollar looks good going forward, we aren't casual fans being tricked by name value. Bollinger needs to fight better competition if he wants the recognition as a top prospect. The next season of The Ultimate Fighter could act as a platform for achieving that goal. Unfortunately, last season featured the featherweight division, making lightweight the only possibility for Bollinger. It's possible he can pull it off, although I think a good showing and a cut to 145 lbs. after the show concludes is more likely. The good news is that both scenarios will play out next year, which should give us a definitive idea where Bollinger sits among his fellow prospects.

Video footage of Cody Bollinger after the jump...

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Cody Bollinger vs. Mike Christensen
Gladiator Challenge - Hostile - April 22, 2011

Cody Bollinger vs. George Sanchez
Gladiator Challenge - Royal Flush - October 24, 2010

Cody Bollinger vs. Sam Rodriguez
Gladiator Challenge - Bad Behavior - June 27, 2010

Cody Bollinger footage

Check out all of his wrestling footage from high school and college on Google Videos as well.

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