Wrestling Credentials Rankings/Tiers Attempt (Help Needed)

Wrestling Credentials Rankings/Tiers Attempt (Help Needed)

Ranking of Wrestling Credentials from top-bottom (this needs a lot of work please let me know in the comments. I just looked at Mike Riordan’s Fightgrinders and tried to make this list the best I could) Let it be known, I knew pretty much nothing about the credentials of wrestling beyond things like, Brock Lesnar was a NCAA Division 1 champ, before Mike Riordan came into my life.


So here is my attempt to "tier" the credentials and put information I read from Mike Riordan’s articles that I felt were beneficial to a beginner like I.

Tier 1| Senior Level Greco and freestyle, Olympics/World Championships,

Tier 2 | U.S. Open, world/Olympic team trials

"The FILA Junior World Championships (U-20) is considered by some to be the second hardest wrestling tournament in the world, and while this is not the truth, a medal at this tournament should be enough to qualify someone as WC. The same is true for the FILA Univeristy World Championships. " – Mike Riordan

Tier 3 | NCAA Division 1 standouts ie "All-Americans"

Perspective| Division 1 All-American Status (8th place finisher, Chael Sonnen, the lowest you can place and be considered "All American") is greater than NJCAA Championship (Jon Jones)

Wisdom | NJCAA (JUCO): "at least equivalent of the achievement level of a mid-range Division 1 wrestler." – Mike Riordan

Tier 4 | NCJAA (JUCO), NCAA Division 2 & 3, University Freestyle National Championship standouts + average D1 Wrestlers

Tier 5 | All other colleges

Riordan | Placing in the top eight, and thus earning All-American status, at a University Freestyle National Championship means a great deal, but it does not hold anywhere near the same gravity of a NCAA Division One All-American finish, and thus University All-Americans should never be referred to as "All-Americans" without the qualifier "University Freestyle"

Note* My Tiers are based on if someone was the champion of whatever and the only thing I'm going on is what I thought I read and some math of sorts.


Jake Shields’ UFC profile of wrestling credentials broken down by Coach Mike:

Four year varsity wrestler and state qualifier in HS

- Non-national level high school wrestling achievements really aren’t a relevant resume item for the UFC. This is the world’s premier fighting league, with combatants regularly claiming world class levels of wrestling. Next to these sorts of achievements, high school records are almost always insignificant.

Two time All American collegiate wrestler

- This is the entry which bothers me. Shields wrestled for Cuesta College, a California junior college. California Junior colleges all get together every year, and hold a championship with only California junior colleges, a tournament which is sometimes misleadingly referred to as a "national championship". It is not a true national championship by any measure, rather, it is a junior college state championship. Jake isn’t really a two time collegiate All American, he is a two time California junior college state place winner.

2ndplace AAU National Freestyle Championship

- Once upon a time, AAU national wrestling championships were a big deal. That was a long time ago, by the time Jake competed in this tournament it had long since outlived its relevance as a national level tournament. Jake’s runner-up finish was in 1997 in the "Elite" (older high schooler) age group. If I were a college coach looking at Jake’s credentials, I would have been more impressed by the fact that he qualified for the California high school state championships, than this.

Qualified for USA/Fila Nationals & World Team trials in both the junior & university men’s divisions.

- This one is weird for two reasons. First it mentions nothing of him competing in these tournaments. Second, these tournaments are open, anyone who meets eligibility requirements can enter, and the eligibility requirements are not competitively based. I once "qualified" for University Nationals, so did you if you were below the age of 28 once and were ever enrolled in some sort of college.


"Coach" Mike Riordan: When comparing the wrestling achievements of two different wrestlers who both have collegiate resumes, one would best not dwell on any credentials earned as a high schooler and before. Anyone who follows college wrestling soon learns that high school victories mean little to nothing in the collegiate arena. If collegiate results are available, they possess the lion’s share of probative value in these sorts of discussions.


So there’s that. What I want is a directory one can turn to when the UFC throws these wrestling credentials, that all sound good, in our faces. A directory, where you can look up the accomplishment, and get at least an idea of how this compares to say NCAA Division 1, which seems to be the most known wrestling thing.

I know nothing about the wrestling scene, so feel free to ridicule me in the comments and tell me how to make this better or if someone could make this. Thank you.

Wrestling. U. Confuse. ME

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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