Last week I completed articles on the MMA Factories at Oklahoma St, and Arizona St. There is one more school that is producing a bunch of MMA talent, and I would like to highlight, Edinboro University.
Josh Koscheck - NCAA Champion, 2 x NCAA Finalist, 4 x All-American. Koscheck found his way into UFC during The Ultimate Fighter, and has been at home ever since. A long time top 10 fighter, Kos has an MMA record of 17-7.
Justin Wilcox - NCAA Qualifier - Wilcox was a Eastern Wrestling League Champion in 1998, but saw his wrestling career cut short due to issues with concussions. He was a teammate of Koschecks at Edinboro, and after seeing Kos on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, he decided he could take up MMA. His MMA record is 11-5 with a long run in Strikeforce.
Shawn Bunch - 2 x All-American, National Runner up. After College Bunch became a US World Team member, and two time Olympic Alternate. So highly regarded is Bunch's potential in MMA that Bellator signed him before he had a single professional fight. He is now 1-0 in MMA, with his 2nd fight coming this week. Mike Riordan did a piece on his Amateur wrestling career a few months ago.
Chris Honeycutt - 4 X NCAA Tournament Qualifier, 2 X All-American, National Runner up. Honeycutt had a very successful career wrestling in college, and had already made the decision to pursue MMA by the time he finished his senior year. He is now 3-0 in MMA, and one of the more highly regarded prospects in the sport. He finished his career at Edinboro wrestling at 197lbs, but has said in at least one interview that he may drop all the way to Welterweight at some point in MMA.
Chris Birchler - Birchler started his career at East Stroudsburg University, before finishing up a successful NCAA career at Edinboro. He was a NCAA Qualifier. He is now 5-0 in MMA.
Birchler was on the BE 2012 Prospect List
Aaron Ely - Ely went to the same high school in Kansas as Shawn Bunch, and they found his way to Edinboro. Ely never found the same level of success as Bunch at Edinboro, but quickly transitioned into Amateur MMA, and then the pros. He has been on several RFA cards, and holds a 4-2 MMA record.
Gregor Gillespie - Holds the Edinboro career record for wins with a 159-13 mark over his 4 years. 2007 National Champion, 4 x All-American. He was injured and scratched from his expected pro-debut last November, and has yet to have a pro MMA fight.
Tim Lutke - Lutke had a brief stop at Edinboro during his Sophomore year, where he complied an 8-6 record before he finished up his career as a Division 3 All-American at Centenary College. He has a 1-0 Amateur MMA record, but has had several additional fights cancelled.
When Gregor Gillespie makes his MMA debut it will be official that the two most decorated wrestlers in the history of Edinboro University will be professional Mixed Martial Artist, Josh Koscheck being the other. While Edinboro doesn't have any of the pioneers in the sport, they have a lot of fighters that are coming out and just getting their start in MMA. It also seems that the University embraces it's wrestlers going into MMA, if you go to the Edinboro Wrestling web-site you can quickly find a link about Chris Honeycutt's most recent MMA fight.
Who is Next?
I'm really not sure... The only senior listed on the roster was the back-up Heavyweight, named Mike Horton, who was also a member of the Edinboro Football team. The two most exciting prospects will only be Junior's next year as returning All-Americans Mitchell Port, and A.J. Schopp should have two years of big things left at Edinboro. As we see with guys like Ely, and Lutke, it isn't always the standouts, or even wrestlers who stay at Edinboro for their entire careers that can make the jump.
For now this is the last MMA Factory piece I'm going to do. I've looked at some other schools but they come up a little shot in comparison.