UFC Fight Night: Berlin Factgrinder- The Wrestling of C.B. Dollaway

At UFC Fight Night: Berlin, C.B. Dollaway takes on Francis Carmont in a middleweight battle. Before Dolloway starred in the UFC, he was quite the good wrestler. How good? Bloody Elbow wrestling specialist Mike Riordan explains.

Clarence Byron (C.B.) Dollaway originates from one of the most prolific college mixed martial arts factories in human history.

Oh, you think I'm talking about Arizona State University? No silly goose, I'm talking about Colby Community College in Colby Kansas. Colby has produced the likes of Daniel CormierCorey Hill, Melvin Guillard and current top prospect Bekzod Abdurakhmonov. While Dollaway wrestled for the Colby Trojans, he won an NJCAA national title in 2003 at 184 pounds, and finished third in the 2004 NJCAA championships.

Few junior colleges have enjoyed as much wrestling success as Colby, which owes much of its success to mining wresting talent from non-traditional recruiting areas, like Mongolia or Louisiana. In 2003, literally half of Colby's starting lineup were recent imports from Uzbekistan. Dollaway represented one of the few members of the 2003 squad from an expected source of scholastic wrestlers; he came from Ohio, where he was a high school state champion and NHSCA All-American (4th place).

After he exhausted his junior college eligibility, Dollaway transferred to NCAA division I powerhouse Arizona State (ASU). There the Ohioan took his place among a stand-out upper-weight trio which featured Ryan Bader at 197 pounds and Cain Velasquez at heavyweight (two back-ups and a coach from that team also fought in the UFC).

In both his years in the ASU starting lineup, Dollaway excelled. During the 2004-2005 season, he accrued an impressive 29-9 record and earned a berth in the NCAA national championships. The following year, Dollaway's final year in college, he established himself as one of the very best 184 pound wrestlers in the nation. The 2005-2006 regular season saw him wrestle well enough to earn a high national ranking and the tenth seed at the 2006 NCAA tournament.

At the 2006 NCAAs Dollaway closed his wrestling career with a bang, losing only to the two top seeds at 184 pounds: Josh Glenn, the first seed from American University, and Roger Kish, the second seed from the University of Minnesota.  Earning a 5-2 record in his last collegiate tournament, Dollaway finished in fifth place, and claimed the coveted title of NCAA Division I All American.

C.B. Dolloway's wrestling style

In the little tape I have seen of Dollaway, his size really jumps out at me. Roger Kish, an old foe of Dollaway's who currently helms the wrestling program at North Dakota State, was a massive 184 pounder-tall and stout for his weight. In their 2006 NCAA quarterfinal, Dollaway towered over Kish while still maintaining a healthy musculature. The Arizona State wrestler used his big frame wisely, employing leg turns on top, and putting a generous number of opponents on their backs with opportunistic throws.

Dollaway  wrestled the strongest on his feet. His aggressive and instinctual approach, along with somewhat unorthodox tendencies, led to exciting and dangerous situations. Often gliding in on shots without regard to set ups, Dollaway sought to initiate action from the neutral position, confident that he could out-wrestle his opponent even from disadvantageous positions. In defense, he made it very tough for his competition to finish shots, and showed very good scrambling skills.

Factgrinder Final Analysis

C.B. Dollaway claims a wrestling pedigree greater than anyone currently in the UFC's middleweight class, with the exception of Chris Weidman, Mark Munoz and Yoel Romero (If Chael Sonnen is indeed a middleweight, I'd rank Dolloway and Sonnen as fairly close, but would give the latter the edge due to his Greco-Roman accomplishments).

During his time in college, Dollaway had wins over quite a few big-name wrestlers, including a couple of future NCAA top three finishers. Even when facing the very top wrestlers in the country, Dollaway showed no fear and would compete ferociously. Dollaway's 8-5 record in the UFC does not suggest that his wrestling background has served as the foundation for any sort of dominance, but "The Doberman" is just a split decision away from a four-fight winning streak, and an impressive win against Francis Carmont could thrust the wrestler into a fringe contendership position.


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