Anyone working within the MMA media for the past 7 days shouldn't have failed to notice the increased coverage of collegiate wrestling this year compared to years past. I feel that we in particular among the SBNation community of websites offered the most comprehensive and frequent coverage out there, including Bloody Elbow's former editor-in-chief and current MMA Fighting senior editor, Luke Thomas.
The coverage of the 2012 NCAA Division I wrestling championship wasn't arbitrary, either, as it was a way of giving back to the sport that has been the quintessential back bone of Mixed Martial Arts, while also providing a glimpse at potential future prospects. At MMA Fighting, Luke Thomas does just this in his NCAA to MMA Wrestling Draft:
The development of the relationship between collegiate wrestling and MMA is both organic and inevitable. As high-level wrestlers consider their future, the path towards MMA becomes increasingly intriguing as it does actionable. As old teammates take the plunge and demonstrate success, a new crop of wrestlers become aware of and interested in the intriguing career path.
This all naturally raises the question: who could conceivably cross over?
Thomas hits on many of the 'All Americans' I myself have considered as candidates for a career in MMA, some of whom I believe have what it takes to become future contenders and even champions in years to come. Head on over to MMA Fighting now via the link above and find out some of the names fight fans should be keeping an eye on.
Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow this year as we continue to bring you exposure to the foundation arts of MMA, as we have the Olympic trials next month, and we'll have the World IBJJF Jiu Jistu Championships and the Olympics coming up this summer.